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New Year, New Direction

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Source: happynewyears2017.org

Hey all!  Welcome to 2017!  As I reminisce about 2016 and the challenges I have faced, I am renewed and determined to have a year full of creation and new ideas.  When starting this blog, I did so to emulate those that have come before me.  As I became more comfortable in my own blogging skin, I developed my own style and way of approaching things.  I had initially set out to review one pencil a week– hence the name The Weekly Pencil, but then life happened.  I am in college full-time and work part-time and posting to this blog became sporadic.  I felt as though I let readers down as well as myself down.  I took a long break and towards the end of the year almost shut down the site completely.  Before doing so, I dug into the statistics of my blog– how many views, visits, Facebook likes– and found that people actually cared about what I had to say.  This led me to thinking about what kind of direction I would like to take the blog in.  Here’s what I came up with:

Expand My Coverage to More Than Just Pencils

Pencils are wonderful and fantastic, but reviewing a pencil a week becomes rather stale (especially when you have blown through all of the main pencil brands).  Now we all know that the rabbit hole that is stationery runs deep, so while I would like to expand, I don’t want to stray too far from my main objective.  That brings us to paper/notebooks.  Many times, I use a particular notebook or paper to review my pencils, but it barely gets a mention.  There have been a lot of awesome things happening in the paper world as of late (I’m looking at you Write Notepads), and I would like to bring that stuff to you.

Aggregate News of the Paper and Pencil World

One thing that is constant and always different is news.  I think that tracking down all of the news of the pencil and paper world would be a unique endeavor.  There are blogs already out there that do this, but on a much larger scale.  I still want to keep my focus as small as possible and while this may be limiting at times, it will allow me to really go into depth with what I choose to write about.  The name of this site also fits this model.  The Weekly Pencil reads like the title of a newspaper and suggests (obviously) that something should be happening weekly with the site.

Focus More on Our Diverse and Wonderful Community

This may sound cheesy, but it rings so true: I don’t know where I would be without some of the members I have met through this community.  I came into this thinking it’s just about pencils, but in reality, it’s so much more.  I have made real life friendships and connections I never thought possible through a pencil Facebook group.  Not only am I enamored with this community, but I am proud of this community.  Because of that, I would like to feature a community member once a month and ask pertinent questions and let them direct the dialogue.  I would love nothing more than to shine a spotlight on those individuals that make the pencil community thrive.

Other Ideas

I would love to bring multimedia into this site as well, but am afraid that it might be a long time investment that I wouldn’t be able to deliver without the proper funding.  If I were able to find a way to replace my part-time job income, I would be able to devote time to vlogging and perhaps a podcast that can bring this site to life.  This will probably never really come to fruition, and I am the last person to ask for money, but if I decided to try I would set up a Patreon account of some sort to fund this.  If I have enough interest I will do it, but that would require about $500 a month for me to do so.  In other words, not happening.

I hope this New Year brings all of you some kind of fresh start and new perspectives for the year ahead.  And thank you for reading and supporting me with likes and comments.  It means a great deal to me in more ways than all of you know.

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Mail and Other Musings

So this blog has evolved into a non-weekly endeavor and is not really fulfilling its “weekly pencil” duties.  At the very beginning of this idea a year ago, I had dove into the hobby of collecting and using pencils of all sorts.  I was excited and wanted to share that with the world.  As I made new friends in the Erasable group, I was encouraged to post more and every week I used one pencil and then wrote about my thoughts on said pencil.  The idea seemed simple enough, but what I didn’t take into account was the fact that life happens and even the most loved hobbies can fall victim of disinterest and immense obligation.  Let me explain.  I still love pencils.  I will always love pencils, but keeping up with the blog on a weekly basis became a burden when life got in the way.  I became resentful in my new role as “pencil blogger/reviewer” and my posts every Sunday became this awful “thing” I had to do.  My need to stay current began to tarnish my love of pencils and the community that surrounded me.  That is why I took a step back.  I have received comments along the lines of “when are you posting again?  This isn’t the weekly pencil anymore?”  I appreciate followers, but I wish some would realize that this is 100 percent funded by myself both monetarily and emotionally.  Besides two items I have reviewed, I have paid for every item out of my own pocket.  I am not complaining about spending money here either.  Hell, I’d be buying pencils anyway, but I wish some would realize that this is not my job.  *Important note here– I am not calling any individual out here, I just am making broad statements of my general experience with this blog*  I love all of you followers and get super excited when other are enthusiastic in this niche hobby.  Just know that this blog will evolve a bit and include ALL of my passions (pencils, stationery, games, etc.).  I will keep the same URL for now, but the site design and title may change in the future.  Now onto the fun stuff!  MAIL  FROM CW PENCIL ENTERPRISE!!!!

Nothing is finer than when you expect a pencil package and you hear the subtle beep of the mail person’s scanner and a solid *thunk* on your porch.  I raced downstairs immediately and there it was– a package from Caroline and her crew:

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I always enjoy pencil-related mail, but getting a package from CW Pencil Enterprise is something really special.  From their packaging to their unique and personal attention to detail with every order, you really feel like you are something special.  This was my note:

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Not only did I get this adorable note from Caitlin, but there is something about the way they individually wrap everything.  Knowing that Caitlin herself walked around the shop and personally packaged my pencils makes me warm and fuzzy inside.  For at least a few minutes I had a personal pencil shopper.  How much better can pencil buying get?!

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Even though I already knew what was inside these lovely yellow wrapped packages I was excited to discover their contents.  I think that pictures will speak for themselves, but if you are interested, here are links to all I ordered: Blackwing Volumes, Camel Pastel HB, Nataraj Joi 2B, and Milan Graphite and Highlighter Pencil.  Now onto my pics:

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I plan on doing reviews on all of these products at some point, but I am really itching to try out the Graphite/Highlighter pencil.  Stay tuned for that review sometime in the near future!