Here’s an interesting article from The Simple Dollar, in which the writer’s notebooks are a key example of something many of us struggle with:
I like pocket notebooks. During my years as a young professional who still harbored some little sliver of a dream of someday becoming a writer, I would often pick up a wonderful, shiny, expensive new Moleskine pocket notebook. I’d keep it with me for a while, sitting down at coffee shop tables and opening it up before me, dreaming little dreams of being a great writer. On occasion, I might even write something down in that notebook.
But, after a while, I’d put it aside somewhere – in a dresser drawer or somewhere else – and then a few months later, the bug would strike me again. So I’d buy another nice, shiny, new notebook and fill up a few pages with jottings, only to eventually add it to my ever-growing pile of journals and pads here and there around the house.
Skip forward to today. Today, I keep a tiny, dirt-cheap Mead memo notebook in my pocket at all times. And I use it and abuse it. I fill that thing from top to bottom with notes, and it’s often a race with time as to whether I beat the notebook to death before I fill it with my notes….
What good is a notebook if it’s not collecting your thoughts? What good is a pair of running shoes if you’re not out running? What good is a keyboard if you’re not practicing your music?
A lot of us want to accomplish something great. We want to read the great works of Western literature. We want to train for and run in a 5K. We want to write the “Great American Novel.” We want to have the perfect home for our family.
The truth is that no product on earth will ever make these things happen…. You can have all the slick notebooks in the world, but if they’re just filled with empty pages, they’re useless.
Do you agree? Is a notebook obsession sometimes a symptom of creative paralysis, and of throwing money at a problem to try to solve it? Or does a nice notebook stimulate creativity in a way that a beat-up Mead memo pad wouldn’t, making the money spent on expensive journals a good investment?