#100 Days of Notebooking and Beyond
Show up to the pages of your notebook.
It’s time to celebrate. National Notebook Day is the third Thursday in the month of May and it’s been officially celebrated since 2016. That means this year it’s May 21, 2020. I know lots of people who extend holiday celebrations, don’t you? I mean the stores always have decorations out months in advance! My mother celebrates the entire month of August for her birthday. That's where I got the idea to declare May- Notebooking Month! For this entire month, you get to celebrate everything that is “notebook”.
There’s a lot to celebrate in the world of notebooking and there are the top ways we can celebrate! I’m sure you can think of more and if you do, please share your ideas.
10. Exchange notebooking gifts.
Find other notebookers and arrange a gift exchange. Buy a lovely notebook, find the perfect pen, stickers, washi tape, or even a book to inspire the notebooking. Wrap up the gift and share it with your favorite notebooker.
9. On the actual DAY, have a notebooking party!
Parties are the best! We’ve celebrated in class before with lots of fun notebook pages and sharing and snacks, of course, snacks! Have your own party! Everyone must bring their notebook. Be creative. Have fun! Celebrate!! And then notebook about it.
8. Begin a daily notebooking ritual.
The best way to celebrate is to show up to the page. Open your notebook every day in the month of May. Be reflective. Think about the routine or ritual you’ve created- or the one you’d like to create- around your notebooking time. Consider when and where you’ll notebook. Which tools will you require?
7. Reflect and reread past notebooks.
For those of you who are already notebookers, take time and reread a notebook. Go back to the beginning. Pay attention. Look for trends. What did you write about? What can you learn from your notebook pages? While I’m creating my pages, I rarely love them, but when I go back after time has passed, I usually find pages I love. What do you love? What do you want more of? How can you continue your notebooking? What will you change? Enjoy this journey into the past.
6. Find your preferred notebook.
Take some time and really consider what kind of notebooks you prefer: lined pages, blank pages, or dotted. Do you like larger notebooks or smaller and what about the cover and bindings? Hard cover or soft, spiral bound or not? There’s so much to consider. Look around and find the best kind of notebook for yourself. Splurge. Treat yourself to a brand new notebook!
5. Now the pens.
Once you have the perfect notebook, finding just the right pen becomes your new quest. Ink or gel pens? Maybe you prefer writing with a pencil? I like writing with markers and gel pens. Stabilo and InkJoy are two of my favorite brands. Go pen shopping! The right writing utensil can make all the difference.
4. Take time to put photos and ephemera into your notebook.
I have a pile of photos and stuff that I’m saving to put into my notebook. It seems like I can never find just the right time. Set aside some time and make those notebook pages with the photos and memories that you want to save. Add stickers or washi tape. Allow yourself time to be creative in the pages of your notebook. What a gift to yourself!
3. Use your notebook in a new way.
Open your notebook to write. Do you have your pen ready? OK, before you write, turn your notebook upside down. Write in your notebook upside down or sideways. Write on the page in a spiral. There’s something about changing your perspective that’s fun. You’ll see it in your writing for that day. It will have a different feel. Play with your notebook!
2. Go on a notebook outing.
Natalie Goldberg started something called Writing Marathons. Inspired by that idea, grab your notebook and write in the wild. Go to a local park and find a spot to write. Bring your notebook to a pub and write while you enjoy a sandwich. The possibilities are endless. Observe your surroundings. Listen. Write! Invite a friend to join you on this adventure!
1. Invite someone to notebook with you.
Being a notebooker is good, inviting others to join you on the journey makes it better. You can invite a younger writer to join you and spend time notebooking together or invite a friend, who already notebooks, out for coffee and bring your notebooks. You can join a notebooking group and find other notebookers too, like #100DaysofNotebooking!
However you decide to celebrate, make sure you take some time to write in your notebook. You are a notebooker! Happy Notebooking Month!!!
One of my favorite things about the notebooking group on Facebook is how we learn from each other. There are so many creative and interesting ways to make notebook pages. One of my favorite things to do if I can't think of what to write, is to browse through the photos. There are so many pages, I don't even know where to begin. I find myself constantly inspired by the pages of other notebookers! Every day I find something new to try!
My Love Letter to the Ocean
Donnetta told us all about this book. This poetry book that she was enjoying! Eventually, we all bought the same book! In the Teach Write Accountability Writing Group, we all decided to write a poem from this book using the same idea. OCEAN...that's what we picked. It was not a smooth journey for me to write this poem, but I enjoyed it. My first attempt was awful! I didn't know where to begin, so I crossed it all out. The next attempt was too cliche. I'd written all of that before. I did NOT like it.
I tried again and something I liked better emerged...but it still wasn't right. Messy. Drafts. A few good lines...
A few hours later, I came back to it. After talking about it with another writer, I got a new idea. She mentioned that she used a memory to write her poem. That's where my final poem came from. I love early mornings on the beach all by myself, so that's where the final poem (from above) came from. Here's that notebook page...
Today is Thursday. It's an ordinary Thursday...nothing to write home about, as they say. What do I notebook on days like this? When I notebook first thing in the morning, I think about my day ahead and what I might like to accomplish—so I wrote a to do list. Sometimes I will write an "I Get To" List and other times I make a "Done" list. List making is fun to do in your notebook!
Recording the weather and about my routine is something I like to do sometimes. Looking back on notebook pages with details about part of a morning routine, like walking the dog, always makes me nostalgic. As we live our daily routine, we think that we will remember forever, when the truth is we forget those simple moments so quickly.
What will you notebook about today?
One of the things I love to do in the pages of my notebook is to keep ephemera. Ephemera like notes– those bits of things that make me smile or hold a memory. Sometimes a photo of something helps to bring the memory to life. (I use a Polaroid Zink Printer. You can also use a Sprocket Printer. They print with no ink and the photo is a sticker!)
My notebook is a part of me. My writing is a part of me. Everything (and I mean everything) goes into my notebook. I put it all into one notebook. I've tried having separate notebooks for different things, but it never worked for me. I'm often asked, how do you find anything? I find it by serendipity. It's true. When I have to find a page from a notebook, I usually remember the notebook cover first. Once I remember that, I get the chance to flip through an old notebook. It's like visiting with an old friend.
I notebooked today. I notebooked a lot. Pages and pages and pages about so much...but today my notebooking was for ME and only for me. I wrote about challenges and I wrote about gratitude. I wrote to figure out the answer to some problems and I wrote to celebrate! There are days like that, days that I won't share...and that's ok.
Notebooking is not intended for public consumption. I decide. I notebook and doodle and jot and list and write in these pages and I get to decide who sees them. I need to trust that if I don't want anyone else to see these pages, no one else will see them It's THAT trust that gives me permission to take huge risks in my notebook.
I decide. ME! No one else and today my decision is to keep these pages to myself. I notebooked. I'm sharing the process with you. That's enough.
Happy Notebooking Month!
Today I bought a bicycle. I haven't had a bike in a long time, but I've seen so many people cruising around my neighborhood, I started looking. My dream bike was bright yellow, but I couldn't find one. This baby blue bike is perfect!
I don't have much to say today. The sky is getting dark with stormy rain clouds and life feels like a lot. I've been sinking into this quarantine, but there are still moments that get to me. I turned to my notebook and wrote about today. How is today for you? Notebook about it...
Why do I write in my notebook? I write because I can't not write. I write because I must write. This practice has been part of my life since I was ten years old, so it's part of who I am. My process and my practice has changed and it continues to change throughout the years, but the one thing that's stayed the same is showing up to the page.
It all comes back to showing up to the page. The pen or the kind of page doesn't matter as much as showing up. When I show up, I allow myself to pour out onto the page: the beauty, the messy, the confused, the certainty...it's all there. Having a place to do that brings me peace and it makes me feel safe. No matter what, I know that my notebook will be there.
My invitation to you is to show up to your notebook today. However that looks and whatever goes onto the page...celebrate that. It's good. The ritual of showing up will change you, I promise.
We celebrate notebooks in May! The third Thursday in May, May 21st, is National Notebook day. I decided to spread out the celebration throughout the entire month!