Lots of writers look at their perfect notebook and imagine their perfect, finished books printed inside. That kind of perfectionism curses notebooks to a long, listless existence on the shelf, unused and unfulfilled. But, because writers are writers, they inevitably attract more notebooks. Here are a few ways to use your growing tower before you’re buried alive in college-ruled leaves.
Make a Muse Book
If you don’t want to write – at least not in the first one – then don’t. Start with sketches, random words that catch your attention, pressed leaves, and a random plot bunny or two. Make the scattered nature of the project a part of its charm. Embrace the mystique of the muse book and it will fill out beautifully. You’re less likely to cringe when you open it years from now, because you won’t be faced with dated ideas and rambling sentences that didn’t age well. You’ll just have a book full of ideas.
Pick the Ultimate Notebook
When you’re spoiled for choice, it’s almost impossible to make up your mind. The problem may not be hesitation to blemish those glowing pages. It may be an issue with selection. Choosing an ice cream flavor is hard when you’re in the shop, and they’re all screaming at you with flashy labels and promises of drug-like euphoria. But when a stranger asks what your favorite flavor is, you probably have a set answer.
To start using your notebooks, you have to know which one you’ll write in first. You need to know which you’ll use last. Sort them out, score them by subjective elements, or hold a vote with your family and friends. Find the Ultimate Notebook, the prettiest one with pages just the right size and your preferred binding. Then rank the rest.
Which are nearly perfect, but you’ll happily use before touching the Ultimate Notebook? Go by tiers. Soon you’ll have two or three you have logically and emotionally proven are in some way less than the Ultimate Notebook. Pick the one you find least perfect (no matter how awesome it still is), and fill the first page immediately. It could be goals, a note on its ranking results, or a diagram of your bedroom. Once you’ve marked that first page, it will be easier to write on the rest.
Buy Writing Tools You Love
As hesitant as a beautiful notebook makes us, a gorgeous faux-feather quill, elegant ink pen, or pencil that looks like a tree branch have the opposite effect. A fun writing instrument can make you itch to commit words to paper. And where will you find that paper? Well, it isn’t like you have a stack of empty notebooks begging for your attention. Sometimes, it’s all about that perfect pairing. Fun pens suit pretty notebooks like pepperoni suits pizza.
There is no wrong way to fill your notebooks. Try to see them as extensions of your creativity instead of fancy objects you have to complete in some correct fashion. The true beauty of notebooks is this: you can always buy more. So get busy.