Like many writers—and lovers of all things in the stationary and office supply section—I have a problem. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but it occurred to me the other day as I came home after shopping, admiring my newest writing-themed purchase.
I’m a journal-holic.
I’ve got a bunch of hard-backed journals, all empty, lining my bookshelves. I’m drawn to their clean pages, their attractive covers, the lure of feeling like a “real writer” as I jot down some snippet of dialog that popped into my head, or an idea for a new short story, or just eloquently documenting my thoughts and experiences from the day. All while I sit in a quaint little coffee shop, feeling particularly author-y.
There are two main flaws with this scenario – 1) I don’t drink coffee, and thus do not frequent coffee shops, and 2) I have yet to write anything in these little books. (I suppose another flaw is the fact that my personal journal entries are hardly eloquent – usually riddled with run-ons, sentence fragments, and a heavy scattering of curse words. But I digress.)
What is it about these books that produces both attraction and fear in my heart? Those lovely blank pages beckon to me, luring me with their siren’s song of possibility and permanence.
And therein lies the rub. Sure, I could write anything in there – fiction, personal thoughts, a grocery list, etc, etc – but once it’s there, it’s there to stay. Unlike spiral notebooks (of which I also have boxes upon boxes of, purchased years ago during a particularly cheap back-to-school sale), one cannot simply tear out a page that you no longer need. So that little scribble you made about hating the pickup line wait is there forever. And the doodle of the dog with a top hat and smoking a cigar? Also forever.
It’s this permanence, this utterly ingrained feeling of “wasting” a precious page, that keeps me from actually using those little beauties. It’s so nice! So pristine! What could I ever hope to write that would be worthy of such permanence??
‘Cause, you know, that’s a perfectly sane thing to think about a $5 journal.
So I think I just need to get over the ZOMG! SO NICE!! feeling when it comes to these things. (And the who knows how many I have packed away elsewhere in the house.) Not sure when that will happen, exactly, but that’s the goal.
Until then, I’ll continue to hoard my precious, precious journals, dreaming of the day when I’ll take a pen in hand, and actually put words on their pretty pages.