View Poll Results: How do you begin your new notebooks?

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  • No ritual, I just get write to it.

    29 63.04%
  • I start with a favorite quote or poem.

    4 8.70%
  • I start with a passage of my favorite religious text.

    1 2.17%
  • I begin with some other ritual.

    12 26.09%
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

  1. #1
    Junior Member Miz Black Crow's Avatar
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    Default The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Once upon a time there was a little Black Crow who had a fear.

    She loved notebooks. But she was afraid to start them. The blank pages scared her. What if she wasn't good enough? What if she would never write words that deserved the nice paper she bought? The stories or tales she told wouldn't be worth the notebook. She should just stop right there. It happened time and again: nice notebook bought, feared, and shelved.

    And then one day she finally conquered her fear. Figured out how to open a new notebook in a respectful way, a way that was solemn enough to feel right to write but would also help get her started, make it "safe" to keep writing in the notebook.

    She asked her gods for blessings. An official Journal Opening Page, right in the front: the date the notebook was opened, followed by a request of her gods to keep it safe, secure and secret. An invocation. A symbol of her faith.

    Now, going forward, she has the gods on her side. She can write: the doldrums of her day, or some frivolous short story, or a bullet journal of to-dos and appointments. She can even write blog posts in the third person for reasons that elude her at the moment (Maybe EoC could help?)

    Does anyone else have a fear of new notebooks? How have you conquered yours? What do YOU use to "break in" your new notebooks? A favorite quote or passage? An invocation like mine?

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    Marsilius (January 23rd, 2016)

  3. #2
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    I used to have this 'fear' myself. I kept thinking that I shouldn't write something down that was so frivolous or 'bland'. However, I started doing family genealogy research, and I kept thinking that it would be awesome if I had a journal or something from that actual person that would give me a clue as to what their life was like at that time in history. I started to think that 100 years from now how would someone researching me in my family history would want to know something about my 'boring' day. Who knows. So I now write anything down that comes to mind. I also find that when I write about my 'boring stuff' the words for 'important' stuff comes more freely and effortlessly. Needless to say I don't have those 'fears' anymore

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    Senior Member migo984's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    I just write. It's a notebook, is all. Cheap, expensive, handmade, bespoke, generic, good paper, poor paper, whatever. It's there to be used, with abandon

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    RuiFromUK (January 13th, 2016)

  7. #4
    Member pensplash's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Sometimes when I get a new notebook of particularly new paper,to me. Curiosity: I just write the date received inside and then some ink testing to check the result. Ink resistance, Smoothness, Feathering, bleed through, color. Maybe a little story will come out of hiding. All this, long before the current rotation of journals are filled. I agree with Migo, Your choice, "It's there to be used." Go for it.

    Dana

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    Marsilius (January 23rd, 2016)

  9. #5
    Senior Member stub's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    deadlines help break through the nonsense. heh.

  10. #6
    Senior Member I like mango pudding's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Yup. Took me one year to decide to use my TWSBI notebook. I bought webbies in place of the TWSBI to use. Decided to use it just this past week. Writing about work stuff and all the politics and drama involved in management. Wrote 10 pages in one sitting.

  11. #7
    Junior Member Patrick's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    I always use the last page of a new notebook as a test page where i "test' all the pens that i normally use by writing the same quote,Its a ritual i have always done

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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    I start by numbering the pages.

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    Patrick (January 13th, 2016)

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    Senior Member Dronak's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    I don't think I have any special "ritual" to starting a notebook. Generally, once I decide what I'm going to use it for, say meeting notes at work, I open it up and start using it for that purpose. The thing now is that I have quite a few notebooks since I started trying out various fountain pen friendly papers, and I don't really know what I'm going to do with them all. So I'm not exactly afraid to start a new notebook, but I do need to find their purpose before I start using them for real.

    On the other hand, part of why I got my notebooks was to try different papers, and I want to do that when I get them. So lately I have had a tendency to flip to the back of my notebooks and write a line or two with each of my inked-up fountain pens. This gives me an idea of how the pens and inks feel and look on the paper, which is generally helpful for me. And being in the back, it stays out of the way of whatever I end up actually using the notebook for. The exception here is some rather small notepads I got the first time I ordered paper. I planned for most of those to be for testing pen/ink combinations, so I wrote in them from the front.

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    KKay (March 8th, 2016)

  16. #10
    Senior Member bluesea's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    I always use the last page of a new notebook as a test page where i "test' all the pens that i normally use by writing the same quote,Its a ritual i have always done

    Thats pretty cool because when you come to the end, you see that you've already been there.

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    Lady Onogaro (January 13th, 2016)

  18. #11
    Senior Member VertOlive's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    I'm just too old to do anything other than start writing before I forget what I wanted to say.
    "Nolo esse salus sine vobis ...” —St. Augustine

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  20. #12
    Senior Member katherine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Not exactly a ritual... But I skip the first page, then start writing whatever it was that I wanted to write. Eventually I'll go back and write my name and contact info on that first page.

  21. #13
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Ah...the fear of the White Page. Happens in drawing as well. I think my issue with starting notebooks is that I don't always buy them with a purpose. If it's nice looking I'm buying it. And then it sort of sits around the house getting dusty. I have plenty of perfectly good notebooks with only a few sheets used.

  22. #14
    Senior Member Sagebrush64's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    While I've spent a bit of time looking around this site, I've never paid any attention to the 'everything paper' forum.
    I have 3 notebooks that just sit....waiting to be written in. I started one of them, writing my weekly pen rotations in it, but nothing really beyond that. A pity really, I mostly doodle on scrap paper (mail and the backside of printed paper for the most part). I spent a bit of time practicing some gothic fonts on the back of a letter last night....maybe i'll take a picture of it....nah, I'll just throw it away....like everything else I do.
    Someday, maybe someday........

  23. #15
    Senior Member KKay's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Okay I sort of have a ritual now. First I break in the book. It must lay flat. I hate books that don't. Then I write a cover sheet (title, my name, phone number, date started). Then the next page, I usually write a little forward/introduction. I don't dedicate it to anyone. I am no writer. I have several journals going now. Once you start writing in it like I do, you don't get that blank page scary feeling. I already know what will be in it, so that makes it easier. Now I do have one I am pondering. I was thinking of doing a Commonplace book. That one I am leaning towards, but not sure if I want to do it or not.

  24. #16
    Senior Member Pira's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    I can't speak as a writer ~ because I don't.

    However I do blow through sketch books on a regular basis now, but remember the feeling of approaching a new one and not wanting to deface it with my work, so I'd draw on cheap copier paper.

    Eventually I got to a place where I accepted that these things were made to be drawn on and I spent ages finding the right one for the job with my tools of choice. Like habitual writers, drawers have needs that need to be taken into consideration ~ bleed through and feathering of course, but also if the paper catches the nib. We don't work in a simple up/down, left to right configuration....we come at the paper from every angle and once you graduate beyond markers to dip nibs & use a fine or extra fine point, you encounter fiber build up in the nib, that catching if you use the wrong angle/direction with that nib instead of turning the paper, and of course there is the smearing/blobbing threat.

    So the paper continues to get better until you find the perfect match for your materials and style.

    Then I found myself back to treating the books in such a manner that involved not wanting to deface it with my work, because they are now more expensive & harder to source. I become as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs when I am down to the last sketchbook and I haven't been able to restock.

    I was afraid of making a mistake and it took some time until I was ...okay with that. Then I had to come to terms with the fact that I was frustrated to contain my work IN the book. Turning an entire book all the time was annoying, as I needed too much space to work. Besides .... using a hardbound book meant you were always working on a slightly raised surface, even if the thing was brilliantly designed so I could break the spine to work mostly flat. Scanning the image? Equally difficult. What to do, what to do?

    The answer was...to kill the book. In the beginning I would cut out a sheet when I needed it. At first I felt guilty...but then the ease of use was such that worrying stopped and realization set in, that it would be much simpler to just do it all at once, so that when the muses demanded it I could reach for a sheet and get on with the drawing. If I make a mistake...well that happens. The paper, both sides because it's such a heavy stock, is repurposed for practice and testing with inks, watercolours and gouache, as well as nibs. No waste.

    So at this moment a 8 1/2" x 11" hardbound sketchbook sits on my desk with an exacto knife....ready for it's dissection later today. I've become very good at it and have a system: crack the spine, slit the stitches binding the signatures and/or cut through the glued section to remove all the sheets and then trim them on my paper cutter.

    Ink Tree Method 2 by Pira Urosevic, on Flickr


    ...so you see...I really do BREAK in my books.
    Last edited by Pira; April 11th, 2016 at 04:35 AM.

  25. #17
    Senior Member Empty_of_Clouds's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Quote Originally Posted by Miz Black Crow View Post
    Once upon a time there was a little Black Crow who had a fear.

    She loved notebooks. But she was afraid to start them. The blank pages scared her. What if she wasn't good enough? What if she would never write words that deserved the nice paper she bought? The stories or tales she told wouldn't be worth the notebook. She should just stop right there. It happened time and again: nice notebook bought, feared, and shelved.

    She can even write blog posts in the third person for reasons that elude her at the moment (Maybe EoC could help?)
    This one resembles that remark!

  26. #18
    Senior Member Paddler's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    I start the book with a title page and a starting date. Next comes a couple of pages for a table of contents. Then comes a curse upon anyone damaging or losing the book either through direct action or inaction. Then page numbering. The last page is for tests of pen points and inks. After all that, there is no "target panic" left.

  27. #19
    Senior Member datainadequate's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Ritual Breaking-In Of New Notebooks

    Quote Originally Posted by katherine View Post
    Not exactly a ritual... But I skip the first page, then start writing whatever it was that I wanted to write. Eventually I'll go back and write my name and contact info on that first page.
    My ritual is to write my name and contact info on the first page

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