Looking Back and Moving Forward

I say this every year but I love the start of the New Year. Its a chance for new beginnings, opening that brand-new planner, journal or notebook and starting on a new path, or course-correcting the one you set last year. I hope that 2016 will be a year of great adventures and great joys for everyone, myself included. I know a lot of us had rocky moments in 2015 but I know there were also some great triumphs as well.

(Photo reposted from Pen Compass)
(Photo reposted from Pen Compass)

For me 2015 was filled with wonderful ups and some hard downs as well. The Atlanta Pen Show was the absolute pinnacle for me and was my saving grace in what turned out to be a rather tumultuous year that followed with work- and health-related stresses. Brad and Myke and all the pen community welcomed me so warmly and openly in Atlanta and the whole world over that I felt like I had the whole world at my back this year and, for that, I am eternally grateful.

As I move forward into 2016, I want to stay committed and actively involved with the pen-and-paper community and be a resource and asset to the wonderful people that are a part of it. Expect to see more ink, paper, pen, and pencil reviews here as always. Holler, if there’s something particular you’d like to see more.

This summer, I started taking drawing and painting classes to try to be more creative and its something that I’d like to continue to do in 2016. I hope that in spending more time making art, I’ll also add more art material reviews to the site as well with the occasional watercolor, colored pencils, and other art material reviews for people who may want to try their hand at more sketching, drawing or mixing of media in their notebooks. By no means, will I be changing the focus of the site but I want to help people feel comfortable using pens with other materials. To be brave and to experiment! Even the most expensive piece of paper is still cheaper than a pizza from the take-out joint down the street, right?


One of the most meaningful pieces I wrote all year, for me anyway, was the post Why Does All This Matter? which came hot on the heels of devouring half of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic book (I promise there will be a review of the whole book in a week or so!) and it still resonates in my mind. All these pens, pencils, notebooks and accouterments are all a means for us to be thoughtful, creative, to remember, to relive and to explore our ideas. However those tools help you do that is good but we have to remember not to let them impede the acts themselves.

This is something I plan on tackling quite a bit this year. The nature of doing product reviews is that I acquire a lot of samples. Its not that I have anything that is not good quality, its just that I am buried under a lot of it and it often leads to indecision and fretting over which ink to use, which pen to pick up or which notebook to write in next. One of my goals for 2016 is to pare down the stash dramatically. If anyone has a good idea about redistributing the wealth without breaking the bank, please let me know.

So, my goals for 2016:

  • Make more art
  • Daily journaling in my Hobonichi Techo A6
  • De-stash the pen/paper/ink/supply clutter
  • Take some personal time for little luxuries (30 minute coffee shop stop, a quiet walk, read for pleasure, etc)
  • Don’t work so late at the jobby-job

My keep-on-keeping’ on:

  • Reviews and more on the blog
  • Atlanta Pen Show 2016, look out!
  • Put all those planners to good use
  • Keep knitting (maybe finish some of those half-baked projects?)
  • Keep biking, and maybe more regularly than I have the last few months

Do you take the end of the year to re-evaluate and make plans? I never think of this end-of-year planning as “resolutions” but as a chance to re-tool, re-focus and start fresh. What do you want to accomplish in 2016? Let’s do this together!

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13 comments / Add your comment below

  1. What a thoughtful piece you have written here today. I will be thinking about this for a while. It is not just about justifying our obsessions but about infusing our everyday life with more mindfulness and passion. (that latter part may be Eliz. Gilbert talking). I made this my goal several months ago. And now…I have to read Big Magic.

  2. I love this! I’m with you, I adore the end of year/start of year. I’m a habitual list maker and times like these are perfect for listmaking and planning. I have some big plans for 2016 and I’m kinda scared, which usually is a good thing! Here’s to another year of pens and paper and planners and paint and making shit and going big! Glad to have internet-met you this year and looking forward to getting to know you better! I’ll see you in Atlanta!! xx

  3. Looking very forward to your reviews of more art supplies! More colored pencils, markers and inks! 🙂 Happy 2016!


  4. Lovely thoughts! I enjoy your posts very much. Thank you for enlightening me throughout the year. As for de-stashing inexpensively, maybe you could offer small (or large) bundles of pen, ink and paper goodness for the cost of shipping and maybe add a little for your time and trouble? Just throwing something out there to consider.

  5. Inspiring post – I have my new book beside me on my messily-appointed desk. Looking forward to a great read.

  6. You’ve inspired me so much throughout this year to be more creative,even for a few minutes of my day. I check your blog daily for new posts. Thank you for being my beacon of motivation and exploration. Here’s to the best year yet!

    1. Thank you for reading, commenting and keeping me going! You are an inspiration to me too! Let’s hope 2016 is the best year yet!

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