Hello you, can we take a minute to talk about notebooks?
("Just one minute?" I hear you ask, "I can talk about note books for longer than that." And that's exactly why you and I get on so well here.)
I have a lot of notebooks. Shocker eh? But - believe it or not - I've actually written in some of them.
Actually, I'm not being fair on myself there; granted, I do have many, many a blank, as-yet-un-written-in, notebook lurking on my shelves, because: notebooks. Who can resist?
- They're exquisite papery bundles of potential; entirely blank and utterly filled with inspiration at the same time.
- More mind-expanding than alcohol; less expensive than paying for another online course to inspire you.
Which is what I'm here to talk about today. Because, when you've lived a life of thinking on paper ... what do you do with all those pages? All. Those. Pages.
|The notebook corner of my workroom.|
There's clearly an issue of space.
- Failing knocking out those eaves and extending the roof-line of my house, there is really no more room for more notebooks on my shelves. Some of the old work diaries could probably go in a box in the loft ... but do I really want to pack away all of my ideas, scribblings, thoughts and musings resting in between some of those pages?
Because there's an issue of content too.
- Not everything I've written down, not even half, has since been worked-up into something finished; something complete.
- Of course there's a lot of old nonsense in there, but equally, there's so many inchoate ideas loitering around, untapped, overlooked.
- Plus, there's a huge chunk of me flattened between those pages. I have work stretching back to when I was 8.
- To sit in front of a page I've written years ago is the closest thing to time-travel; I've been there before, held that book, pressed those words into the paper. And I can often remember how I felt, where I was, or what was happening when I originally wrote it.
|A few of my journals from the 80s and 90s.|
So what to do with it all? What do I do with all those years of scribbles?
Well ... I've taken two approaches:
- If you're of a nervous, bookish, disposition then look away now because ... I tore up some of them!
|Genuine notebook remains|
I saved any pages that held little gems, and copied-out any quotes or interesting snippets I'd noted down, and recycled the rest.
As for the full books, the fertile, fit-to-bursting books, I've hung on to those. Of course I have. But, rather than let all those words go to waste ... in a process that's ongoing, I'm sifting through their pages and panning for notebook gold.
|A few books from the 2000s|
Whenever I stumble across a pithy thought, a funny phrase, a mini-story, an observation etc that I think might be worth sharing, I'm typing it out and adding it to my #notesfromthenotebook archive. And in the months to come I'll be sliding some of them under your nose, here on my blog.
I won't be editing them, completing them, or even particularly explaining them - I'll just be revisiting them, airing them off, getting the light to them. And I hope that in amongst my 33 years worth of words, there'll be something there that'll chime with you, or make you smile, or inspire you to write some of your own. Or share some of your own even.
|Currently empty; apparently I have a thing for motivational slogan notebooks these days.|
So how about next week then? How about I dip into my back issues and put some of my old ideas to work ... wake them up ... drag them into the present day and see what they've got to offer?
OK, then, next week it is. I'll make a note of it.
p.s: I'm here for any and all notebook related chat. What've you got? My ears/notebooks are open ... get in touch