Following my post last week on Keeping a Notebook, reader Barbara asked:
I have notebook block. Not writer’s block, I write but on the backs of envelopes, receipts, those damn cards that fall out of magazines, etc. I own about two dozen notebooks of all types and sizes but I cannot bring myself to write in them.
Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas for breaking through?
My recommendation for you, Barbara, is to find a notebook that you don’t think is precious. Don’t start keeping your spark book or grocery lists in a handbound leather journal purchased during a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Venice (I should know I have one still in its waxy brown paper bag wrapped by the creator).
If you think your “good” notebooks should only have really good stuff in them, buy a cheap notebook or something that is easy to replace like a kraft Field Notes, a plain black Moleskine or even a wire-bound notebook from your local office supply store. When I think I may just be writing garbage for work or doodling my way through meetings, I grab a classic composition notebook with the black marble cover. I can pick one up at an office supply store or drugstore for less than $3. Maybe tape or staple some of your envelopes and receipts into your notebook so your new book is not pristine?
If your goal is to have a notebook full of brilliant stories and observations, remember that we all have to start somewhere. I recommend checking out Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way to learn about Morning Pages and to help overcome the blank page.
Best of luck and I hope you just dive in!