It’s just a notebook

Not a moleskine

I decided I needed a notebook. After all, real writers use notebooks to jot down their thoughts.  I’m suddenly having more ideas than I can contain in a blog, and many of them come to me at 11:30 at night when I’m trying to fall asleep.

Mainly I got tired of keep track of my notes on the notepad app on my iPhone, especially after my daughter turned three months worth of post ideas into rghaghajdlfdiuuyyghhka8**emmahfjjdfkjfjafd^^^^^.

I’m sorry, not my daughter.  Some other iPhone fascinated creature that no one sees.

I love writer’s notebooks and journals.  I think the main reason writers carry notebooks around is because we love the way they look.  We make up ideas and stories and sentences just so we have a valid excuse to carry around tiny pieces of paper bound in artistic jackets, jackets that say I’m a serious writer or I’m into astrology.  If it wasn’t for the street cred we get from the beautiful – or smartly understanded – binding, we’d just shove miniature steno pads into our purses like Newspaper Men in the movies.

The last journal I bought resembled a renaissance fair tapestry you’d find hanging on a 1990s wannabe hippie’s dorm wall.  I don’t remember any of the symbols that were supposed to be representative of – well, something I’m sure, but I remember the sun and the stars.  I could have pulled this notebook out and started using it.  I know I never filled it.  But I haven’t written in it since just after Devin was born and I started writing in it the summer before I went to college.  That’s 18 months of angst-ridden promiscuity that no one wants to reread.

But still, I wanted a notebook.

Of course, I just declared a shopping moratorium on unnecessary items.  I mean, a real writer’s notebook only costs about $12, but that’s $12 I’d vowed not to spend.

So instead of a fancy moleskin wrapped in soft black, I’m carrying around a free notebook I got at BlogHer with a Sears and Kmart logo stamped on the red plastic cover.  I’ve also scattered pink post-it style grocery list length notebooks sponsored by RetailMeNot around the house – by the bed, on the desk.

And it’s a very small thing and a less than glamorous alternative to the pretty diaries I imagined for myself when I decided I had to start carrying real pen and paper with me everywhere – but it’s $12 I saved.  More importantly, I’m actually putting these scraps of donated trees to good use instead of letting them overflow in my junk drawer until I can no longer open and close it when I need to find batteries.

It’s a very small thing, but it’s a symbolic gesture for me that represents a commitment to something bigger.  It’s follow through.  It’s sticking to my guns in the face of just $12, because just sits at the precipice of that very slippery slope.  But I did not slip, or lean, or roll down that hill.  I dug through a bag of free stuff that I’d saved from a recent conference, and stayed rooted on level ground.

It’s just $12.  It’s just a notebook.  But it’s moving closer to the goal.

Plus – we canceled the cable.

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