Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hope for Every Fallen Notebook

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My notebooks used to be sacred.

Only one story. Only one legacy. And only one draft.

There were two notebooks in particular that were going to be amazing. Pristine, perfect, sublime. Not just a little bit redundant, either.

The first was the Percy Jackson journal. Sea foam pages, olive ribbon, adventures yet unwritten. Never before had it occurred to me that it might be legal to actually write fan fiction. Now I could, and I had the perfect place to do it. The result became the annals of pathetic legacies which mostly told and did not show. It’s painful to read, even now.

The other was a gray glory, with a calendar and cool pockets and little sticky notes and everything. At the time, I was involved in a group RP, and I planned to chronicle my own interpretation of our adventures, rotating between eight or nine different points of view. Looking back on it, I’m not sure I realized that eight POVs in any work is rather ambitious. Especially if it was your first. Suffice it to say that I got about eight pages down, and the project died.

I didn’t write in them after that.

One story. One legacy. One draft.

My notebooks used to be sacred.

Not anymore. Poetry brushes with narratives, doodles, page breaks, scribbles, novels, narratives, snippets, stories, and the other thoughts which are vomited onto the page. It all hangs out. And it’s all bound by a single spiral.

I’ve never finished a sacred notebook. I’ve tried, and I may soon do it—I’ve put aside one spiral just for editing a particular WIP. But I’ve got more finished notebooks than I have fingers to count, and I didn’t do it by holding on to sanctimonious ideals when it came to writing.

I did it by writing what came to me. And sometimes, writing what didn’t come to me.

I picked up the Percy Jackson journal a couple weeks ago. Plenty of blank pages that needed to be used. I noted the date I got back to using it, and started to write—despite the shameful prose filling the first sixty percent of the book.

No notebook has fallen so far that I can never use it again, and I will never let that stop me from seeing one through to the very last page.

Also, I think my mom said she wouldn’t buy me any more notebooks until I used up the ones I have. So there’s that.

How do you fill notebooks? Is there a reason you would ever stop using one?

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