Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones is my favourite book about writing. One of her tactics is filling a notebook every month, no matter what. Sometimes that means writing a frantic dozen pages on the 31st, but it’s not usually that difficult for me to do. I prefer inexpensive (not necessarily “cheap”) notebooks which I can throw in my bag, fold over the covers, write wherever. I’m not precious about my notebooks. Everything goes in there, and if it’s not going to last much longer than a month, I don’t want to spend a lot of money.

My current notebook is a perfect-bound, hardcover, blank book I picked up at IKEA on a whim. Their stationery offerings are similarly an after-thought, not a regular product, but a fun side project. The first date stamp in this book is from November 2019. The last time it took me a year to fill a book was the year I had my first depressive breakdown at university. Now I know it’s a sign of something bad.

This time around, though, I’m OK with blaming 2020. No one should be holding themselves up to past benchmarks this year. This notebook sat, abandoned, from January through July. My only goal is to fill it up by the end of the year, and based on this morning’s writing, I should be finished tomorrow.

My next notebook is definitely going to have lines because I hate writing on blank paper.

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