When I was a teenager, I kept a journal. Fairly regularly, on and off, for about six years. It wasn’t just full of the day-to-day and my hopes and fears. It had scribblings, (bad) poetry, quotes, photographs ripped from magazines, story ideas. It all went into one book.
Looking back, it was my fertile mind condensced onto a page. It was for nobody but me, and maybe a few friends with whom I shared (awful, terrible, embarassing) poetry. When technology took a leap forward, I was the first in line for Livejournal. It’s been a descent into creative bankruptcy since. All I was doing on Livejournal was performing to an audience. Facebook followed, then Twitter. I dabbled in Instagram but that doesn’t even need words.
My brain is wired into this thinking, that if it isn’t worthy enough to be seen by others, it isn’t worth dealing with. That life should somehow be splayed onto a screen, compartmentalised by whether it’s your family holiday pictures by people you have approved, 140 characters on why you liked a movie (or didn’t, as Twitter tends to lean), or blog posts of this variety.
I have many notebooks. I love notebooks. I always carry a notebook. If I can’t write it down, its not really sinking in. Yet all my notebooks remain incomplete, half-scribbled. I feel like I couldn’t possibly write up the plot of my idea for a science fiction story in my notebook that’s for blog ideas. Then the blog idea notebook falls by the wayside. Then nothing gets done.
I am proposing to carry one notebook. To not worry whether it’s a telephone number, a story idea, a strange (hopefully better) poem or a character design. I want to fill up my notebooks and be less precious. Here’s to scribbles.