No, not the film.
I’m addicted to notebooks.
Family holidays when I was younger inevitably led to the souvenir shop. It’s a place you’re probably familiar with; it’s filled with mugs, coasters, key chains with your name on them, a general assortment of fine crap. My personal favourite, to the ever disappointment of my dad’s wallet, was notebooks.
An empty word document on a glowing computer screen can be intimidating. We’ve all thought the flashing cursor was mocking us at some point. It breeds doubt, insecurity, and fear; at times it can be a petty, evil little thing. I hear the guy who invented it actually end up being arrested for elder abuse.
I find a notebook to be different. It’s a blank canvas, an invitation to create, the promise of endless possibility and freedom.
You know, on paper.
I have a lot of notebooks, and I’m ashamed to say there’s little to nothing in all of them. It sounds very vogue, but I think I’m more in love with the idea of a notebook, rather than the notebook itself.
Truth be told, there is (as often is the case) a dark side to my addiction. If only abandonment was the worst of my sins when it comes to my innocent paper-filled friends.
I actually treat them quite cruelly. The sad same story happens again and again and it’s only now, writing this blog, that I can see the error in my ways.
I complete the first page with meticulous care and a steady hand, like you do with the first page of a workbook in school. Inevitably though, I’ll make a mistake; a smudge, a misspelling, some abandoned idea. This is where the crazy starts. I think to myself; crossing out is messy. I’ll just rip that page out. I’ll be careful, maybe it’ll give the book something of a shabby chic look.
It doesn’t. It always, always, always, looks like crap. Often it’s a fatal decision that just destroys the entire book. To avoid crossing out a simple mistake because I think it’s messy, we now have other pages falling out, jagged protruding staples, and the book spine equivalent of sciatica.
Cards on the table: I’ve very recently bought another notebook. I was shopping with my friends, and one caught my eye. We all bought one, we made a pact to fill them in a year, or suffer each others judgment and scorn. But how exactly am I, the Patrick Bateman of notebook writers, meant to accomplish this? My notebooks have a worse life expectancy than a mayfly.
The answer, I’m actually pretty proud of: I intentionally trashed the first page.
Well…I say trashed, the first page is an agenda of what I want to do in the next year with my writing and with this blog, and number two on that agenda is:
2.) Not destroy this book because of one mastake
That is a bonafide spelling mistake. It happened, I didn’t tear the page out, I didn’t destroy the book, and the world didn’t end.
That’s the self-sabotaging out of the way, now I’ve got a year to fill this bad boy up, and I sure could use your help. I’ve had a google and I’ve entered into a world with terms like morning pages and dream journals, but I know I’ve only scratched the surface.
Do you own your own journal? Do you have any ideas what else I can do with this sexy thing? Please shoot me a comment below.
– H. L