Hi, my name is Joe and I am addicted to notebooks.
It's a compulsive behavior. I see a good notebook and I need to have it, to try and fill it. My friends and family are happy to feed this habit with Monsieurs and Moleskines, Leuchtterms and Deniks. I receive them as gifts at random, get home and run to my room and look at them. Notebooks with great binding and high quality paper, an elastic band to keep them closed, a fabric bookmark to hold my place. There are stories in there because that thing and I have connected on an intimate level. I know what must be done and I know the cost it will have on my life, career and family. It's wrong and I just don't care.
I know I am crazy because they call to me, sirens sitting on my bookshelf. The ghost story, the remembering of an early mass, the rise of a submarine, a guy building a birdbath with his grandson, all these scenes that ache in my head, trying to come out, filling my empty moments. It must be wrong to have work in seven or eight or nine notebooks at the same time each one has developed a feel in my head, each has something of a theme that I feel compelled to respect. I wallow in my shame, knowing that it's nuts to start each day staring at the array of them in the darkness of the morning, trying to determine which creative thread I will follow, which will then be the theme for my day. Will today be a day to trip through my perpetual twelve year old imagination and describe a sword fight so well that my martial arts brothers will visualize how incredible it is, or will I try to finish that chapter of that novel which I will deny exists to anyone who asks, or perhaps that red notebook needs to record that dream of a waterfall and a a conversation with a friend long since forgotten?
There is a sensation so satisfying that it must be a forbidden thing. It's that feeling when I that notebook slides into my jacket packet with one of my favorite pens strapped to it. Later, when I should be doing something important, like investing in my family or following a lead to further my career, I hide somewhere and roll up my sleeves and indulge in that sensation where I hold the notebook in my left hand and the pen in my right and just let things happen, barking at my wife when she makes an unreasonable demand like coming to the table for dinner or running one of the kids to the emergency room.
I try to blame the notebook, but I know it's me. It's my own addiction. I know it's wrong, but like the drugstore cowboy I do it because I like it. Simple as that. I must live with the agony that is now my open shame.
My name is Joe and I have a serious notebook problem.
I will leave you with this week's creative resource. The trailer to a documentary by an extraordinary young lady. It speaks for itself. I want you to keep this on your radar.
A man who loves to write.