I Am So Picky About My Writing Notebook

by Trish

in Create Now! Revolution, Creativity Workshop, Find Your JOY!, writing


The latest writing notebook addiction.
The latest writing notebook addiction.


I am so stuck up. I am so exclusive. I really don’t give any others a chance.

I’m talking writing notebooks.

I have been a rabid Moleskine fan for years. I use a the Evernote version of a Moleskine hardcover for daily jottings, but the siren call of a new notebook, well, it’s hard to resist.

Target, late July/early August in 2014. The annual school supplies section pops up and I’m drawn to it, like, I can hear its call from the front door. I actually enjoy the smell of pencils and pens and notebooks and paper and pencil pouches and glue (okay, I do not sniff THAT!) and I’m so happy, happy, and I see the display. A new eco-friendly notebook in bright colors, a thick notebook (three subjects) with lovely dividers. Oh it just called to me. Three of those notebooks in my signature color (hot pink) end up in my cart.

I’m in Alaska for a work/vacation and I’m in a Target in Anchorage. The notebooks I adore, in a lovely turquoise color are like 800% off. I turn to hubby. “Do you have room in your suitcase?” He’s like, No, do you? And I’m like darn. There are four of those notebooks for like pennies and I leave them in Anchorage.

I fly home, check my local Target. No notebooks left. These are obviously a school supply season special only.


I go home to my latest Moleskine and tell it how much I love it.


Fast forward one year. I’m back in Target, it’s late July/early August, and suddenly, I realize, I’ve gotten exclusive all over again. I want to buy more of those notebooks. The three pink ones I bought last year are full, of jottings, of scribblings, full of ideas.

I have lots more ideas. So I need lots more notebooks. Logical? Yes!

My local store shows them in stock. But no one can find them, not even Target staff. They tell me to check back as all the school supplies are not out yet.

I’m back the next week. Same story. I want the notebooks. I find ONE (in bright purple) and grab it like it’s gold plated. Just one. Target staff can’t find any others. They tell me to come back.

I do, like four times. What is wrong with me? Why this notebook? Why is this such a big deal?

I get exclusive fast with writing notebooks, apparently.

Hubby saves the day. We’re out on a dinner date one night in August and he says, let’s check out this other Target instead, which I had been meaning to do, but I’m busy, I get distracted, I get laser-focused on one solution (at least with writing notebooks!): they would be at MY Target eventually.

We walk into this new-to-me Target, walk to the school supplies section, and voila, there’s an entire bin of these notebooks, just waiting for me. I grab a few bright pink, a purple, some turquoise, and that’s the end of the story.

Or is it?

I don’t think this is a simple situation.

I think I focused on the writing notebook so much because I was feeling a bit insecure about other things.

1. If I could just get my writing notebook, THE writing notebook, my next 12 months of writing plans and work would go well.

A bit over the top, but essentially yes.

2. If my local Target didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be able to get them.

It took my dear husband to shake me out of my siren call of wanting to repeat the exact environmental conditions for when I first found my writing notebooks. Not every creative pursuit is going to get replicated. It was a sign of something else.

3. I was feeling quite vulnerable about the writing I was about to do. TRUTH!

I figured if I could get my writing notebook, THE only writing notebook that could help me, and if I could get it at the same Target, just like the year before, it would be like signs pointing that I was going the right way.

Which is ridiculous. Why do I need those signs anyway?

Because I’m that way. I’m creative. I think that way. What has worked for me before HAS to work for me again.

And if it doesn’t?

I started to fall apart a bit. I was at my Target five or six times to find those notebooks. It was someone outside of me, pushing me out of my focus zone who took me to another Target to get them.

I think there’s something more here, yes?

What do we do to secure ourselves against our fears? What do we hang onto as talismans so that we will replicate our previous success?

It made me stop and think, that’s for sure. What did I learn? I’ll be sharing more in days to come.

Care to share with me? Leave a comment below or on the Facebook page.

Quick update: I’m still here. I mean I’ve always been here, in and around this site, not posting, but updating, adding an ecourse (are you subscribed?), adding a product in Fall 2014 (interested?), and now am ready to add another couple of products this fall. I’m so glad to be here and so excited to share more with you about creativity, and of course, how to create more, how to up level your ideas, and how to do it with JOY!

If you’d like help creating more ideas you absolutely love, contact me about creative consulting services.

Rosie October 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm

I think this will resonate with a lot of creative minds as we tend to obsess over rituals, signs and superstitions sometimes, which serve as our security blanket (pardon the cliché). We look for things to be in line for us in some degree because there’s already so much that we can’t control, and so whatever brings comfort in the familiar is essential.

We often fear the chaotic state of the writer’s life, the imbalance pouring from the amount of labor/gratification ratio, as well as the instability of the creative process. Those are already overwhelming enough. Especially at times when we face obstacles we don’t know how to handle or fail to handle through ways we knew worked in the past, our subconscious takes over to offer excuses in order for us to cope, like a broken routine is to blame or circumstances that we can’t change are in the way, or someone else has put us in a bad place, because they acted out on their own misery.

The interesting thing about this is that, the more we let these excuses absorb us, the more we lose focus and in turn, attract a train of negativism to add to the bunch.

If we, instead, recognize those insecurities disguised as obsessions over mere details, dismiss them–not give them the power to block us–then we can adjust our actions accordingly, and achieve far greater results, having invested the same energy elsewhere.

realbrilliant October 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

Hi, Rosie,

I moderate comments right now due to spam.

Yes, I agree. It is so a fear thing, such a hard road through so much uncertainty.

And yes, it’s self-awareness for me, but look at the little cycle of avoidance I went through there. I was so busy obsessing about the notebook, I forgot that I could just write on anything, on the Moleskine I already had. Funny how quickly I get into those cycles.

And we all do, but this is why it’s important to air them out, let them see the light of day, and let ourselves really question why we continue this behavior.

I couldn’t BELIEVE I had spent all that time over a notebook. It was an obsession, and it was me procrastinating big time. I could hide in Target’s inability to stock the notebook in my store, when in reality, I needed to be visible with my work.

Thanks, Rosie! Such wise comments.

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