I feel like I should want to write a lot more than I actually want to write. It’s a weird sensation, like I should take a lot of joy in something that I keep avoiding. And not just here, on my blog, but writing just for me, too. At different times, I’ve tried my hand at journaling and fiction writing, and as much as I enjoyed both, I just can’t find the motivation to anymore. Like so many things, I feel like it needs to be good, like there’s no point in sullying my nice, clean, fresh-paged Moleskine notebook with crap. I feel like anything I write needs to come out fully formed and halfway decent, so I avoid it because it feels like a chore. It’s surely related to the reverence for books that kept me from making notes in the margins until pretty recently.
What I really need to do is just write. That seems to be the key for actual writers, from what I’ve heard. For me, it won’t be about getting a lot of ideas out or achieving some word count, but about simply getting over this bizarre hangup with a nice notebook, and the expectation that any content I put in it must be worthy of the honor.
The other thing about actually physically writing is that it is physical. There’s no way to search it. I can’t copy and paste out of a notebook into a computer. There’s an underlying apprehension that anything I put in a notebook will never be seen again, because I can’t easily look for it, and I can’t easily do anything else with it.
This comes up every now and then, this time because several people linked to an article from a guy who amassed eighty-some notebooks over the two decades of his career, and someone else’s mention of Field Notes. I can’t help but think that I would like to be able to look over a stack of my old notebooks someday, and that I’d like to be the kind of guy who always has great ideas that need to be sketched out in a handy pocket notebook like the Field Notes book. I’m not sure I am that guy, but for some reason, I’d like very much to be.