The Notebook

Don’t get your hopes up.  This is not a prompt to write about Ryan Gosling.  But if you feel you absolutely must – knock yourself out.  I am not in the business of holding people back!  I am in the business of encouraging growth.  Growth begins with a seed. A seed needs a container.  The container needs to be carefully selected so it feels just right.

The Notebook.

When I was a girl and onwards into adulthood, I always had a drawer full of notebooks.  With the best intentions, I would write conscientiously in any one of those said notebooks for a week.  Or two.  Sometimes more.  And then I would drift on to a newer notebook. A cooler notebook. A prettier one.  I was extremely fickle when it came to stationary.  I just couldn’t commit, and that was long before the days of endlessly upgrading an i-phone.

If you are following the blog, you hopefully have already pondered on your commitments for the year.  Have you committed to writing?  Once a week?  Twice a week?  Every day?  Set the bar where you can reach it, and if you haven’t yet – choose a notebook.  Even if you plan to write on the computer, I urge you to choose a notebook.  And stick with it.  Carry it with you if you can.  Tie it with a string or a ribbon or a piece of wool.  Protect it.  Fold images into its pages – torn scraps – words or pictures that catch you.  Write in it.  Doodle in it.  Smell the paper.  It will gradually and satisfyingly fill up.  And you will grow…

Can you remember a notebook you had as a child? A diary? A journal? What did it look like? Describe the cover. Where did it come from? Was it a gift or did you choose it? What did you write in it?

If you can’t recall, write from here: “I am a notebook, open my pages and you will find…”

Write for at least ten minutes. Go…

If you are following Write To Be You and have jumped in and started writing, I would love to hear your comments. If you’re feeling very courageous, share an excerpt.  I promise you it will inspire others to pick op their pens!

One Response to “The Notebook”

  1. Anonymous
    January 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    My First NotebookMy first journal, which was actually a diary because it said that on the cover, had lined pages with dates at the top. It was a gift for my tenth birthday from my therapist, Lael. Yes, I had a therapist at age ten. I started seeing her earlier that year when I was 9. Therapy at any age wasn't as common in 1980 as it is now. We were the only kids I knew that ever saw a therapist. It was my choice. I remember the sunny afternoon about a month after Mom died when I went into my Dad's bedroom and asked him if I could go see Lael too. For some reason my four older siblings had started to have regular appointments with her but Dad didn't make one for me. The next week I went with my brother Mark to his appointment. Dad told me I'd start with Mark so that I could see if I liked it. I was more than willing to have a grown up listen to me talk and let me play games for 55 minutes. I was the youngest of five grieving children and I loved being the focus of someone's attention. I didn't need Mark there to make me feel more comfortable so I started to see Lael on my own. I spoke openly about my sadness, how I was feeling at school and at home. Dad used to tell me that he thought I was very brave when I asked if I could see her too. He said yes because he thought if I was asking, than I must need it. He was right. My birthday is in December so I patiently waited for January 1, 1980 to start the diary, since that was the date printed on the first page. I spent the last twelve days of 1979 staring at its red cover with purple and blue hearts all over it. I unlocked the tiny gold lock with the tiny gold key over and over again imagining all the days ahead that I was going to rush home from school and write on those pages. I finally took pen to page at the end of the first day of the year. I remember that I wrote about playing 3 hours of monopoly with my on again-off again best friend since 1st grade, Kim, her older sister Christine, and my older sister, Marie. I wrote about how I'd gotten hurt earlier in the day. It was a warm and we had been playing a game of chase outside and I went to jump off the back porch wall, but tripped and fell onto the flowerbed bellow. When I opened my eyes the brick wall was right in front of my face and I knew I had just missed cracking my head open. I reached for my right leg in pain and found that my shin was wet with blood. Marie rushed over to me and held me in her arms. I was screaming. She yelled at me that I was going to be all right but I kept on screaming. Then she slapped me across the face. I shut up instantly, but it didn't stop my tears. Dad took over and cleaned and bandaged my wound. I still have the scar. After that day I didn't write in that diary for a while. One of the few other entries is on a random day in February. The tear-stained page just says, "I'm so sad today. I miss you, Mommy."Even though that first diary of mine is pretty much blank, probably because of the constricting predated pages, it has moved with me every time I've packed up a desk, or cleaned out a cupboard over the past 32 years. I know exactly where it sits now, with journals that came later and that were turned to more often, but still just as valuable.KH

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