This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about the therapeutic 🙂 qualities of stationery. You might remember not so long ago I was quite excited about a new notebook. (That one’s full now btw!)
What is it about notebooks, pens, sticky-notes and highlighters that is so exciting? Don’t try and pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about–I know I’m not the only one. The stationery aisle in the supermarket is always my first call and I spend hours trawling through stationery stores in town, even when I don’t need anything.
Is it a throw-back to our school days, when at the beginning of autumn–for those of us in the northern hemisphere–we used to get all our new bits and pieces in readiness for the new school year? Remember how the first page of a new notebook always had to be perfect? Your neatest writing, no mistakes, or crossings out or red pen from the teacher? Or, leading on from that, is it a sense of starting over, a clean slate, albeit a paper one, neatly ruled and bound with a pretty cover? A sense of new possibilities?
Possibly we just love having all the tools we need to marshal our ideas onto the page, and feel that these items bring a sense of order and readiness to our endeavours. We feel prepared and able to achieve our goals.
It’s not that I’m materialistic, I don’t buy everything in sight. Sometimes I don’t need anything, so I just go window-shopping. Having fun.
I like to have a set of A5 80 to 100 page notebooks when I’m working on a new book. It helps me to locate the right ones if they’re all the same colour, the covers work as a kind of code for each project. And for the first draft of a novel, I need about five of those. I also like the ones with a card cover, so I can write on the front of the book the working title and the volume number of the notebook. To avoid rummaging on my messy desk for a scrap of paper with a vital note on it, I often print up notes from the Evernote app on my Kindle, or I print up lists of characters and I can staple these inside the front cover to refer to when writing. I still do most of my initial draft on paper before I move to the computer.
In some ways then, the lure of stationery is inexplicable but it is important to me. Paper seems so much more ‘alive’ than an electronic document. I couldn’t be without my notebooks and stickies.