Beginning the New Year With a New Notebook

This year, I decided to start writing daily. The most in-your-face way I can think of is doing it manually. A person can always shut down a laptop. With the screen closed, you might not even realize it’s there. And if you pile a bunch of stuff on it like books, magazines, catalogs, and tax information, your laptop could be lost for a long time. (The longest for me was two weeks. I got an email notice from Carbonite that I was long overdue for a backup. I know. I’m bad.)

So I decided to write daily in a notebook. Yes! Using pen and paper and pencil. You know me and notebooks. I fall in love with a pretty cover or a size I think is handy; I buy one. And another. And. Another. (Very much like my nearly hoarding affair with books.) But I do use them…

For 2017, I invested in a Hobonichi Techo. It’s a datebook, a calendar of events. It’s got all the handy-dandy doo-dads a good calendar has, plus room to write. One of my high school friends who is very artistic uses one. I am constantly impressed by her Hobonichi creations. You can follow her on Instagram HERE.

Hobonichis are manufactured in Japan, and they are ALL THE RAGE there. When I first ordered my 2017 in the US, I was excited. Not so much when it arrived and I found it was the baby Hobonichi. I learned you can only obtain the larger Cousin by buying it straight from Japan. Thank goodness for the Internet! (I am using the smaller one at work.)

Why do I love the Hobonichi? The paper is fabulous! Although the paper is very lightweight, it takes all sorts of pens without bleeding through. I’ve even used my current favorite, the Pilot G-2. Sharpies, highlighters, it’s a very durable paper. The only downside is that any writing in it is Japanese. (The smaller version is printed in English, so I can at least read the witty sayings and quotes at the bottom of each page.)

What do I put in it? Sometimes tirades of daily frustrations. Sometimes weather reports. Every day, what we had for dinner. Lists of things to do. Simple sketches of weaves (my third or fourth love after food and writing and a few other things.)

Sometimes when I don’t have time to open the laptop, I might work on the book in my Hobonichi. This is how I spent my weekend:

I finally had to map out my setting. As I was writing, I noted that I didn’t have a clear vision of what the place looked like. Of course, this is not a perfect rendition, but at least now I have a clearer idea of how the motel is laid out.

The Hobonichi Cousin is a little smaller than the Moleskine notebook I usually use. In that way, it’s perfect for the procrastinating writer. I can fill the page in about ten minutes. The Moleskine maybe 30 minutes. Both notebooks are laid out in grids, which I like because it keeps my writing nice and even. The Moleskine doesn’t have as many pages, which may be less daunting to those writers who view a blank page as Mount Everest.

Daily writing doesn’t have to be a thing of beauty, as my journal indicates. The point is to note something every day, and that’s the hard part; sitting down, thinking, putting thoughts to paper. It’s all hard. But what I’ve learned is that you can glean something creative and worthwhile in everything. Sometimes you have to let what you spew out sit for a while. When you come back to it you’ll find the glimmer you missed before.


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