“The thing about a new notebook,” he said, looking down at the pristine page in front of him, “is that it looks so damned good. So full of potential. It always seems a shame to start using it, because the moment you do it’s not so … so… open anymore. And I always have this reluctance to put something in there that’s not deep or wise or profound or brilliant.”
“Eaten a thesaurus today have you?” Lou asked. “Deep, wise, profound, brilliant. All pretty much the same thing.”
“Not at all. There are nuances. Anyway you take my point. Something blank and shining with promise. You just know that the first spelling mistake or crossed out line, or banal shopping list or doodle will spoil it. Makes me reluctant to start. I like buying new notebooks, got loads of them untouched on my shelf.”
“I read a tip once,” said Lou, getting up and walking over to the window, looking out at the stars, “About new notebooks. Always scribble on the first page. Just make a mess. Nothing sensible, nothing important. You give yourself the mental permission to use the book for anything you like then. Means you get the most use of it.”
“Does it work?”
Lou shrugged. “Does for me. Strange but true.”
The proud owner of the brand new notebook looked down at it and made a decision. He took up the pen and scribbled on the first page, swirling galaxy arms of ink, odd little shapes, zig zag lightning bolts across from side to side.
“Feel better?” Lou asked.
“Actually yes. Thank you. Good advice. I feel a lot more free to be creative now.”
“So what next?”
The scribbler stopped his scribbling and sat back with a smile.
“I think I’ll put some more work in on Eden,” he said, “I think I just had a good idea what to do with it.”
Inspired by a writing prompt at Always Another Chapter