Learning to keep a notebook

I always wanted to be a notebook keeper, to write everything down, to be this person who records everything, every thought, every idea, every observation. I wanted to fill pages after pages, notebooks after notebooks. I wanted to have something to look through when I feel stuck. To have something to browse through when looking for something to write about.

Recently I’ve read a quote of Shaun Levin, that goes like this:

I like taking notes. I believe in the importance of notebooks. A notebook is like a dream diary, but for when you’re out of bed. It doesn’t need a plan or a story or a novel that’s being worked on; just an openness to what’s out there, and a quiet faith that whatever gets written will find a place in the greater project that is your work.

I think that I never trusted that my thoughts or ideas were worth recording, that I could be doing it for the sake of taking notes. I guess I thought that it all needs to be for something, that it needs a purpose. Maybe I was waiting for something extraordinary to happen to have a good reason for filling up those notebooks? Maybe I thought that recording all those ordinary stuff didn’t matter? I don’t really know why I’ve never become a notetaker, why I wasn’t able to give myself permission to write everything down.

This quote spoke to me though. I pulled a notebook off the shelf and decided that it’s time to give myself permission to take notes. To start keeping a notebook. To put everything down in it. The smallest thought, the silliest idea. To keep track, record everything, for no other reason that to have it written down.

It’s time to start filling those pages, to see them swell with ink, to finish notebook after notebook. I’m not only learning to keep a notebook, I’m learning to allow everything on the page.


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