Today was a good day.
There are a few things that happen every now and again that I look forward to. One of these, which I’m sure a few other people agree with, is the day I get to crack open a new notebook for the first time.
As you could probably imagine, I really like to write. I went to university for it and somehow managed to make it my job. One thing about writers is that they can be a finicky bunch, each set in their ways about the best way to do something. Each writer’s desk is set up differently, from the number of monitors they have to the exact sound their keyboard makes when they hit the keys. All of this sets the mood and makes writing enjoyable.
While I’m as partial to a nice keyboard feel as anyone else, my main love is writing by hand. And the best parts of that, for me anyways, are the actual tangible items I use to do it.
While I’m no collector — years of having to move house at the drop of the hat and lack of money have made it hard for me to justify spending way too much on anything — I do have a quiver of three pens that I cannot leave the house without. The first is a simple Parker Jotter pen. You’ve seen it. I’ve unofficially called it “Hollywood’s favourite pen” because of the wonderfully audible click of the very tactile button on top.
I’ve got my Parker loaded with a blue ballpoint cartridge.
I also love my Zebra F-701, a fully-metal click pen that has a nice weight to it. I’ve currently got that one loaded up with black ink.
From there it’s my personal gift to myself for graduating university. That is an Online Füllhalter fountain pen that I save for my special notebooks.
Which brings me to the crux of this article. The reason I’m writing it in the first place. Today is the first time in almost a year that I’ve started a new notebook.
Since I got interested in writing seriously, back in 2012, I’ve basically always had a pocket sized notebook on me. While for work I use the standard spiral-bound reporter’s special, for my personal writing I have my own special preference.
Today I cracked open a set of Field Notes Trailhead special edition memo books. For a notebook nerd, this means a lot. They’re hand-printed in the United States, and they only print a limited run of each seasonal edition.
For me, everything about them is just perfect: the size, the amount of pages, the paper quality, the printing on the page (lined, dot grid or blank), it’s just great. While purists will swear by something by Leuchtturm (fancy and German), the blue collar-inspired simplicity combined with the outdoor purist utility of Field Notes really works for me.
While I’m excited for the new crisp pages, the notebook I’m putting behind me was no slouch. It was a beautifully-printed small press book with botanical drawings of different plant and mushroom species. It withstood months of being in my pocket, getting caught out in the rain, and a few re-tapings. I do get a bit nostalgic about leaving an old friend behind, but then I look at the new crisp cover of the Field Notes book and just can’t wait to start writing again.
I think I’ll start now…