Always Carry a Notebook

“Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” 
-Will Self

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved blank books. I remember being in the supermarket with my mother and having just discovered (at around ten years old) that I could make up my own stories and poems. I begged my mother to buy me some steno pads with red covers that were square-shaped.

It’s a pretty vivid memory still to this day. I opened those fresh steno pad pages and smelled the paper and imagined the possibilities. I imagined the world I could create in them, just from my own mind and imagination. And it was a thrilling feeling. It was the silent invitation from those white, lined pages to scribble down all my ideas.

Now I have several blank journals on hand all the time, just in case inspiration strikes. I have a tendency to pile them on my nightstand along with whatever books I’m currently reading. Here’s a picture of my nightstand that I took last night. With all those journals just waiting for my words, I better get to work.


My latest acquisition is this journal which was a birthday gift from someone very special that I love. It is soft and leather-bound, hand-made in Italy. It will be a joy to write in, and I love the feel of the floral engravings on the cover. Even though it is large in size, its soft leather covers allow it to lie flat, which will prove useful for when I’m writing in bed, which is most of the time. This journal is a joy, even just the feel of it in my hands.


The thing is, even though I may have a beautiful, new journal to write in, I always have to finish the one I’m currently writing in first. Maybe I don’t want to cheat on it, or break up my life story. The journal I currently use is used mostly for writing prompts and my responses to them and other writing exercises, but I can never seem to stick to a theme in my journal.

Even though they may start out as dream or prayer journals, or poetry journals, I always end up writing personal entries and thoughts about my day in whatever book happens to be close by. I don’t tend to compartmentalize my thoughts into separate blank books, though I’d have plenty to choose from if I decided to do so. I don’t think I will ever stop collecting journals. I buy them compulsively and receive them often as gifts from those people who truly know me.


July 17, 2013. Tags: , , , , . writing.

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