Look alive, soldier! You’re no longer on your own. You’re one of the few, the brave, the resolute! You’ve joined the Stack. The Army of Notebooks. There’s no turning back.
I’ve always had a huge obsession with notebooks. Nothing makes me happier than buying a new one, even if I have three (or more, let’s be honest) empty ones waiting for me at home.
There is something about blank paper that calls to me. Sure, I can open up my phone, iPad, or laptop at any point during the day and write down ideas, but nothing quite speaks to me as much as letting my pen flow against a smooth piece of paper.
I may write on my laptop, but recording ideas and outlining, for me, is all about notebooks.
I spotted my new recruit (pictured above) when I was shopping after work this week. My internal conversation went as follows:
Me: Do I need this notebook?
Logical me: No, you have tons of notebooks.
Me: But it says “ideas” on the cover!
Logical me: You have “ideas” written on the front of other unused notebooks!
Me: Right. But this one is so PRETTY.
Logical me: *throws up hands and stalks away*
Me: *gleefully purchases notebook*
I guess there’s something to be said for self control (which I obviously have none of when it comes to notebooks), but there’s also something to be said for feeding your muse with little chunks of delight every once in awhile. You have to let it have its way… sometimes.
I truly believe that you can never have too many notebooks; just like you can never have enough coffee, or too many fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. I always have a notebook with me. It’s easy to forget that I texted myself an idea, because when I open my phone, I tend to get distracted by social media or the internet. It’s much more convenient to have a dedicated place that I can jot down ideas when inspiration hits; a place that’s separate from all my glowing pieces of technology.
As important as it is to track your ideas, it’s as equally important (at least to me) to make your ideas clear. I was recently looking through a stack of my notebooks and discovered an old, scrawled note that read something like, “Girl on train. Hair. Cat. Does she know the prince? Favor rising. Three ravens. World is darkness.”
I’m glad that these days I (hopefully) do a better job of clarifying what the actual crap I mean, because I still have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote that one. Now that girl with the favorable ideas on the train (who apparently has hair) may never find her cat and uh… visit a prince who has three ravens and is afraid of the dark? Seriously. Who knows.
So, I leave you with this:
- Buy all the notebooks.
- If you’re going to write down an idea and leave it sitting, for god’s sake, make it clear what your inspiration was.
- Always, always, always have a place to write down your ideas.
- Let your muse win once in awhile.