Sketchbook Scribblings and The Stationery Thing

I have 'the stationery thing'.

I own two moleskine sketchbooks that are nearly full, and a third one with only a few pages used. The full ones have seen many months, and many scribblings. Some useless, some boring, but a few somewhat funny ones, and even some good drawings from time to time. At first I wasn't too sure what to do, and varied between 'you can scribble anything' and 'make it good sketches only', sometimes only writing things half-heartedly, or trying to hard to 'seem' like random scribblings. It shows, but I don't mind so much. It is part of the process.




Sample sketchbooks scribblings


Some pages I can look back upon and remember almost exactly what I was thinking at the time. Others, not so much, such as the phrase 'In a snowglobe' in the above picture. To me, that's all part of the appeal. It's the noting down of thoughts, feelings, ideas.. then the excitement of rediscovering them days, weeks or months later. I sometimes date my pages, but often forget. I think it can be a good thing to have a date, so that when you look back, you can have a marker - what was I doing that day? What does this drawing relate to? It can be useful just to show the passing of time, too. I drew that x months ago, and now I've improved in this or that way..

Recently, I started two new notebooks: one for poetry and one for drawing only. My older sketchbooks felt too mixed up, and I wanted to start drawing and writing poetry with more regularity. I'm not writing a poem a day, nor am I drawing every day as I had sort of planned to do, but I am writing in the poetry one at least once a week, which is a start. Now, after reading Anthony Wilson's post on observation, and Josephine Corcoran's post on breaking routine, I want to start a new notebook just for noting down what I see and hear. Getting hold of a notebook is the easiest part, as I have quite a collection. (Though it won't be that easy to decide which one to use..) Of course then I'll have to keep it up, but habits can be formed. 

If I have any advice to give, it'll be this: have more than one notebook, especially if you draw as well as write. An all-purpose sketchbook can be good for loose ideas and the like, but a specific notebook for specific purposes can be very helpful and stop your notebooks becoming full of what I'd call 'lazy doodles'. These aren't always bad, but I think one can get in the habit of doodling simply to pass time, noting down things just for the sake of it, and never really getting anything from those ideas. So maybe try this, if you haven't already. Get a notebook, or two, or three, and start documenting and putting all that creativity to good use!

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