January Makeup and February Reviews

Hello Everybody,

I wanted to update you all on how things are going. The semester is going great so far. I have been busy with a lot of homework and long-term projects and I just could not find the time to write-up a review in January. Not to mention, there was nothing new for me to review. This was fixed in late January when I had ordered some supplies from JetPens due to running out after my first semester. It arrived early February, so I decided that I would make up the missing reviews for January around mid February.

Little did I know that once midterms neared, the amount of work I had to do would double, causing me to spend many hours in the library studying until 1 and 2 in the morning for several days straight. I had multiple exams this week and I made sure to study hard and do well on all of them. That being said, with such a strenuous studying schedule, I didn’t get to post the reviews last week like I wanted. Now that the mid semester crunch is over, I was able to sit down yesterday and properly put my thoughts together and write a couple of reviews. I’ll be releasing them shortly to make up for the month of January.

With the month transitioning to March this week, I’ll be releasing the reviews for February come this Saturday, March 3. Thank you all for your patience and dedication. My schedule will go back to normal for a while and won’t be as difficult until finals week in May. I’ll make sure to keep you guys updated with the latest news.

Sincerely,

Anchit, The Passionate Penman

A Year to Look Forward To

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know that at the beginning of every year since 2016, I go and review how well I kept my resolutions. This will be the third time I’m doing this review and I hope that there will be many more to come. So let’s start with our annual tradition of listing out the resolutions and reflecting on how well I did in regards to them.

Start becoming more active on social media

This one is something that I can honestly say I did much better in 2017 than in 2016. I have many more posts in 2017, no matter how mundane they were(usually about the horrible weather in Indiana). I actually chose Instagram as my go-to social media instead of Twitter because I very much prefer photography than to just right out words. Of course, all the statuses were posted to Twitter too, but I found that I got a higher level of engagement with my readers on Instagram than Twitter, so starting this year, I’m gonna take my Instagram game to the next level. Instead of taking photos on my phone, I’ll be importing pictures from my camera and showcasing some of the photographs I got over winter break as well as for reviews. Higher image quality, better composition and the like will be the goal here. Let’s see whether this year I can break through to 500 followers.

One review every two weeks without fail, no excuses

Now this is where I’m a little embarrassed to say that I absolutely wasn’t able to keep this. The hiatus I took in order to dedicate almost all my free time and effort into studying for my classes(which were especially intense last semester) didn’t allow me that much time to really use new stationary. I stuck to what I now find to be my go-to setup for absolutely any school related work. In fact, I refilled my Lamy 2K over 7 times with the same Iroshizuku Shin-Kai. It just works and I felt that it was unnecessary and risky to change inks in the middle without knowing how it would write. If you saw my last post, you know why there was such a huge gap in the reviews. This year, I hope to actually keep this resolution because despite me studying for another semester, I need to refine my time management skills, because I hope to continue this blog for a while and to do that, I’m going to have to develop the ability to schedule time to sit down and write reviews no matter what’s going on. I really love this blog and the experience of trying out new stationary. If you love something, you’ll find time for it and that’s exactly what I’m going to do this year.

Improve my photography which I feature in my reviews

This is a little subjective, but I definitely feel that I grew as a photographer when it came to the things I was trying out in regards to composition and color. I tried to actively deviate from the standard angles that I usually present with my reviews and go for something that presents a different perspective of any ordinary pen or ink. While I did have problems with lighting, I feel that overall, I did well in compensating against the limitations of my background. This year, I want to try to go for something completely different. I want to capture pictures of the pens I review out in the wild. Using the beautiful backdrops provided by nature, I want to mix up the background of my shots to allow the pens to show more of their beauty. In addition, this would also help with the lighting situation and it would allow me to go outside and exercise my photographic capabilities every one in a while.

Work on getting some kind of sponsorship

Another year and this resolution still manages to elude me. I really am struggling with this one because I’m just not sure how to go about accomplishing it. This year, I have made this one of my personal resolutions to accomplish, because as we all know, buying new pens can be very expensive. This is an expensive hobby and while I’m so happy that I’ve been able to review so many different stationary products from all kinds of brands, it is starting to really drain the wallet. So this year, I’m going to endeavor to make this one of my main resolutions alongside the post frequency. Hopefully, I can make this happen so I can keep bringing unique pens to review without making my wallet cry.

That’s all for the resolutions of the year. I aim make this one of the greatest years for the The Passionate Penman. Thank you for all your love and support, I wish you all a great year ahead and I hope to see you again next week for the upcoming review. Until next time. 🙂

Hiatus is Over

Hello Everyone,

A lot of things happened since April that made it more and more difficult for me to post. Chiefly, I developed a problem with my laptop that put it out of commission until I could get it fixed once I got home. Immediately after getting home, my family went on a road trip for 8 days and we’ve finally come back and settled down. I would like to apologize as I couldn’t upload anything new having left most of my stationary at home. Now that I’m back, I can start getting back to reviews again. I’ve left it off for longer than I’m comfortable with and can’t wait to get back to posting some new content. The posts I need to make up for are one from April, two from May, two from June and two for July. Seven reviews in total. Starting tomorrow, I will be posting one review per day until I make up for all the ones I’ve missed so far, so look forward to it. It’s great to be back! 🙂

Cheers,

Anchit, The Passionate Penman

New Year’s Resolutions. How Well Did I Follow Through?

First of week of the semester finally over! I feel that I started strong and am going to try to maintain that level of focus. I wanted to put this post out before school started, but the preparation I was doing for some of my more intense classes this semester was more of a priority so… that didn’t happen.So here it is.

Scientists say that the reason people don’t follow through on their New Year’s resolutions is simple. Most people pick big actions like “Eat healthier” or “Exercise more”. According to Susan Weinschenk Ph.D., the reason most people fail is because we have to start changing habits with small actions. Instead of “Exercise more”, we should instead say “Walk a 1/3 more than usual”. Not only do they have to be small, but they should also attach onto an existing action for easier acclimatization and be easy to follow through for the first week minimum. I’ll be going into 2017 with these in mind. Here’s the article for anyone interested. I highly recommend giving it a read and incorporating the lessons into your resolutions for this year.

I made a couple of resolutions at the beginning of 2016 with the goal of looking back and seeing that I accomplished them. While I’m pretty confident I didn’t exactly manage to do all of them, I honestly feel that I definitely did make somewhat of an improvement. I’ll link the whole post down below, but I’ll be going through only the main list. So let’s get started.

Start becoming more active on social media

My social media posting for the year of 2016 was much better than 2015. I was able to finally get a bit more involved on Instagram and am slowly building a larger follower base. Still a long way to go, but for someone as uninterested in social media as I am, it was a huge leap. This year I will be looking to improve even more and start showcasing more of my calligraphy practice as I notice that those were some of the things people were responding to. It’ll definitely be tough, but I’ll use the excuse of posting it on social media to focus on keeping a clear schedule of practice and for a more useful practice instead of mindlessly doing drills and not focusing on the foundations. This year I will be using online resources more often to practice smart and will eventually be writing in calligraphy on Instagram for any holidays and the like. Look forward to it! 🙂

One review a week without fail, no excuses

In the 52 weeks of the year of 2016, I posted 32 reviews. Honestly, this one was a little bit of a stretch for me to accomplish and I’m surprised I got as far as I did given how tough the quarters leading up to my transfer were. There were many times I found myself simply releasing 2 or even 3 on a given weekend simply to catch up. In short, it was an ambitious goal that I couldn’t follow through on because I underestimated the effort and motivation I had to constantly put out reviews every single week. For this year, since my schedule and academic rigor has increased substantially, I simply can’t make one review a week happen. However, I feel that one every two weeks should be very possible given how many I put out last year. By decreasing my schedule, you guys have more to look forward to also. I’ll be posting only on weekends as that’s when I’ll have the most free time. I feel that I can definitely make this happen, so I’m gonna go for it.

Improve my photography which I feature in my reviews.

Now this one was something that I’m not really sure how well I accomplished. For me personally, when I compare my January photos to my December photos, I see a stark difference in quality. The December shots are better composed make better use of negative space and are more in focus because I invested in a decent tabletop tripod to avoid shaking and blurriness present in some of my January shots. That being said, I feel that the creativity behind the shots were lacking. Lot of them are the standard in focus nib and body and a couple of round angle shots that are pretty standard. I didn’t exactly do a good job in varying my backgrounds and it became a little stale even for me. When I moved to IU, I no longer had my standard black desk but instead a wooden grain one that really looked nice in some of the latest reviews. I want to try to capture some pen in nature shots this year. Something like that should be easy due to having so many seasonal backgrounds here in Indiana. I’ve been a little uneasy about going outside due to how cold it is, but I feel that a morning photo walk is something that will help me not only improve my composition further, but challenge me to try out different methods and utilize different perspectives.

Work on getting some kind of sponsorship

Well this is a little embarrassing. O.O Now this was a resolution that honestly fell by the wayside after January. For some reason, it completely slipped my mind after the year started up and it wasn’t until I wanted to write this post that I saw this and remembered. It hit me how much trouble could be saved when wondering about what new pens I could get that I haven’t reviewed. This is something that I would definitely like to work on as it would not only guarantee my readers fresh reviews on new pens, it would also allow me to stop stressing on how I’m going to put out new content every week. I will be contacting some of my favorite pen bloggers for advice on how I can make this happen and encourage anyone with experience in this field to get in contact with me via the Contact Form and I’d love to chat..

That was all of my resolutions for 2016 and a few minor adjustments notwithstanding, they will stay the same for this year. Resolutions cannot be thrown away if you don’t accomplish them. The biggest problem I faced last year was overreaching. I set goals that didn’t take into account how my life was going to change near the end of the year. I set goals that were a bit too ambitious given the limited amount of time I had to make them happen. Lastly, I set goals blindly, without thinking about how I was going to follow through. Ultimately, while I didn’t complete any of them, at least there was improvement. Until the day comes that I’m completely sure that I followed through these are going to be my blog resolutions for every year. Consistency is key and perseverance is mandatory for success. I also have some personal goals that I’ve set for myself and I’ll be working on those too alongside these. I’m getting a feeling that this year is going to be a good one. Keep on going, my friends. Never stop trying to better yourself and never settle for anything less than what you want. Let’s work hard together and make 2017 a year to remember.

I really want to know what you guys are thinking so please leave a comment telling me how I’m doing. Comments are getting more frequent, but it’s just not enough to gauge how well my reviews are being received, so let me know what you think hitting that like button and leaving a comment. Thank you all so much for your support. I’ll see you in 2 weeks with 2 reviews to make up for missing these first couple weeks. So until then, write on, my friends. 🙂

Link to 2016 New Year’s Resolutions blog post

Happy New Year! A Look at 2016.

I can’t believe that it’s already here. The day where everyone looks back on the year and how they navigated through the many curve-balls life threw at them. For me, this was certainly one of the most fulfilling years I’ve had in a while. A couple of years back, after being bogged down and overrun by the math-heavy curriculum for Computer Science, I was lost. It was the worst feeling for me, to know that I had a genuine interest in a field, but I couldn’t pursue it simply because calculus wasn’t my thing.

It was at this point that a simple mistake allowed me to meet someone who would change my life. I had gone back to being a business major and needed to take financial accounting as a prerequisite for transfer. My business club advisor, a Mr. Kevin Mello, was an accounting teacher at the time, so I planned to take him. It wasn’t until the day I walked into the classroom that I realized I had signed up for the wrong Mello’s class. Apparently, Kevin’s twin brother Keith was also an accounting teacher and the online registration portal hadn’t shown the difference. Determined to just get through the course however possible, I sat down and prepared myself for another mundane and uninteresting course. The moment he started teaching, something in me clicked. He handed us some exercise sheets and I was breezing through them with 100% accuracy. A feeling of euphoria that I used to feel only when I was in a computer class invaded me. I had finally found it. Something I was good at and a field I could pursue for a career.

I found myself attending his office hours daily, peppering him with questions about what accountants do, different sub-fields within accounting and about his personal experience in the industry. He patiently answered every single one and shared his thoughts on what he used to do and how the field is changing in numerous ways. He sat with me daily for almost a month straight and helped me find a path that I was interested in pursuing and encouraged me to follow my heart, wherever it took me. He helped encourage me when I was mired by self-doubt and ultimately inspired me to work hard to get into a good business program at a 4-year university. In the immortal words of William Arthur Ward, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” He turned out to be the most inspirational and kindest professor I had ever had the fortune to meet. I fondly reminisce on that incident now as one of the best and luckiest mistakes I ever made.

I worked hard and got into Indiana University at Bloomington, home to the prestigious Kelley School of Business. Through all my effort, I was able to transfer to a college with a beautiful campus, amazing people and dedicated teachers. I was able to meet my roommate Nick, who has since become one of my best friends. 2016 was an amazing year for me and I sincerely hope that I can carry this momentum into 2017. I have some personal goals I’ve set that are ambitious but achievable. I feel that aiming for these goals will change my life for the better and I fully intend on following through.

I want to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year! 🙂 May the new year bring tidings of health, happiness and prosperity to you all. Thank you so much for all your support and I will see you all in 2017. (I’m in California, and it’s technically not 2017 yet)

Christmas Update

Hello Everyone,

I know it’s been a month and a half since I last posted and I sincerely apologize for not keeping you apprised of the situation. During the last month I had to buckle down and hit the books to study, complete numerous group projects and take my final exams. Thus I was finding myself spending hours on end in the library and basically living there for a month and a half. So, now that my first semester is officially over, I’m going to make it up to you with a deluge of posts covering all I missed so far. According to the calendar, I missed about 6 posts and owe you one for this week, so 7 reviews in total. Starting tomorrow, I plan to give you one post a day until Friday where I’ll put out the remaining before Christmas Eve. There won’t be any posts on New Year’s Eve except for the annual WordPress statistics update for 2016. There will also be a surprise post after New Year’s that I’m looking forward to sharing with you. Let’s start off the countdown to Christmas and spread some holiday cheer. Thank you all for reading. See you tomorrow with a new review. Look forward to it! 🙂

Sincerely,

Anchit, The Passionate Penman

A New Chapter

Hey Everyone,

Been more than a month since my last post and I wanted to give everyone an update on my current situation. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I would be transferring colleges this fall. I attended my New Student Orientation and was a little anxious about moving. For the first time in my life I will be living by myself, nearly 2000+ miles away from my parents. I just moved in to my college dorm the other day and have been preparing for my classes non stop. This is an exciting new chapter in my life and it honestly feels a bit surreal to me as of this moment. While I wanted to do a full review today, I don’t think I can as I will attending numerous activities to try to acclimate to my new surroundings. The first review will be posted next week and I will aim to post once, maybe twice if I have enough free time (which I honestly can’t properly gauge right now as I don’t know my work load). I will try and keep everyone updated, but in the meantime, I’ll be enjoying the independence and getting over my home-sickness. Thank you so much for sticking with me through this time. I hope to see you again next week. Write on, my friends.

Sincerely,

Anchit, The Passionate Penman

My Bad Folks

Hey Everyone,

I know that I didn’t go through with my Monday ink review and haven’t posted content for nearly two weeks. A lot of things happened when summer started. I had to realign all my priorities to getting ready for college as I am going out of state. Other than that, I had a fever, caught a stomach bug and had a bad cold in succession. So now that I’m finally finished with my annual beginning of summer health issues, I feel well enough to start posting some reviews up. I will start tomorrow and make up for the last two weeks with some awesome reviews. Thanks so much for your patience and as always, write on, my friends.

Sincerely,

Anchit, The Passionate Penman

 

Done with Finals

Hey Everyone,

Yesterday I officially finished all my finals and started my summer break. I’m gonna be taking the weekend off to de-stress and get my bearings back. I’ll be coming back strong on Monday with a review of one my favorite inks. Until then, write on, my friends.

Sincerely,

Anchit, The Passionate Penman

I’m not dead…yet

Hello Everyone,

It has been a while since I updated and before I start trying to justify myself I would like to sincerely apologize to all my readers for the astounding delay of the reviews for the last 2 weeks. Truth be told, this is my last quarter before I transfer to a 4 year university, so the stress I’ve been facing in the recent weeks has been way more than I can ever remember experiencing in my entire academic career thus far. While this is not an excuse for missing the reviews, I hope I can get your forgiveness for not keeping up my promise of one review per week. It was not my intention to start slacking, but my thoughts of reviews inadvertently went straight to the back burner for the past few weeks and as much as I regret to say this, it will stay there until my quarter officially end in the second to last week of June. However, I really don’t feel comfortable in letting my blog remain devoid of any content for that long as it would simply drain my motivation. As such, I found an alternative that would allow for me to focus on my studies for the last two weeks of school without any unfinished business. Starting tomorrow, I will put out one review everyday for the next 5 days in order to both make up for the reviews I missed so far and satisfy the reviews for this week and the next two weeks. Expect it to go live tomorrow afternoon. Let’s clear up the queue so I can devote my entire focus to studying for my finals. Once again, I sincerely apologize for the delay and hope that this makes up for it. I really have to study hard to do well and successfully transfer. Thank you so much for your understanding. Wish me luck! 🙂

Sincerely,

Anchit