1) Do not begin with Chinese pens
Suppose, two of your foreign friends comes to Bangladesh to visit. And they would like to go out and try some local delicacies. So, you take one of them to a kiosk, for some 'chotpoti'. Another one you take to a well-known restaurant to try out 'kacchi/biryani'. Next day, the first one has such a horrible case of upset tummy, that he promises to never try out foreign foods ever again! Your other friend though, has liked the local food soo much, that he wants to know more about them and taste other foods as well. You on the other hand, who is a regular customer of the kiosk, couldn't figure out what actually went wrong?
When I recommend someone new to this hobby, I want them to have an excellent first time experience. Thus, I suggest them stuffs from good brands. But that does not mean Chinese pens are bad, it's just that they are not for the beginners. Once the new hobbiest starts using fountain pens, than you can introduce him to the Chinese pens, the gentleman might really like it perhaps. Due to lack of quality control of Chinese products, some of their pens happen to be extremely good; in contrast, pen of the same model may turn out to be faulty. These pens should be tried once you've gained a little experience in this field. That way, you won't run away from this hobby at least.
2) Don't start off with just 'any' paper
Many who are looking out for the very first fountain pen of their life, search for a pen that can be used to write on literally any paper, at the office, school, and even to do grocery lists. The sad thing is, there is scarcity of good papers in our country. You might not easily find paper on which you could write with just any fountain pen. You'll have to accept the fact from the beginning. If you're new to this hobby, then I suggest write on some good diary pages, journals, or on Papertech 100gsm papers, which you can find buy from the local markets. Start with pens that are easy to maintain. Pen that you'd enjoy writing with, that which allows you to see the shade of the ink being used. Consider writing with fountain pens as a hobby at first. If you like it, than you may switch on to writing with it daily. Don't try the latter at first though, you'd only be left disappointed. Paper, pen, ink, these things work together to write. If these three things are good enough to write your grocery list, you're good to go. Get started with the hobby, everything will soon start to get going.
3) Initially don't run after large ink capacity or waterproof ink
Water proof ink and pens with large ink capacity needs advanced maintainance. Kicking off your hobby with this, won't be the wisest thing to do. I understand you're probably a student and you have a lot to write, or you work in an office and need waterproof ink to write. But use those when you have passed the beginners level. When you are habitual to taking well care of your beginner level pen, and you feel like you can invest some more time and effort to each of your pens, then take on your hobby to a more advance level. Each and every pen, is not just a pen, but more like a living pet. Believe me. They need to be taken care of. You need to get used to them. They get angry too, and you need to cheer them up as well. (In a metaphorical sense).
Every hobby has its own stages and levels. If you choose to take the shortcut and simply skip the steps, you won't quite get the taste of the hobby. Will try to practice more ahead. Good luck to everyone.
Author: Atiqur Rahman