Ten years ago this month, I started this blog. It was more of an experiment to see if I could keep my creative mojo around after one of my more rather alarming dry spells than anything else. The idea was that I’d make it a record of things I made, but somehow, keeping the record became yet another creative outlet for me.
Within a year this blog, which I was slow to share with anyone, had led to my first writing job – a wine column for a now defunct local monthly cooking publication. It paid in wine, which given my lack of experience in writing anything as well as my getting hired specifically because I couldn’t pull off wine speak, seemed like an excellent compensation.
I was working at a local non-profit at the time and when I was suddenly laid off due to budget cuts as a result of reduced government spending, some of my co-workers gave me a pink leather notebook as a parting gift. They felt strongly it seemed, that I was being sent out into the world to write more and this notebook would serve me well.
At the time, I was quite touched with their faith in me, but I wasn’t entirely sure how I’d live up to their expectations. Turns out, they were quite prescient, because next thing I knew, I was asked to write for some special editions of a local alt-weekly. With my trusty pink notebook in hand, I set out to be a real writer.
In the years that followed, every interview I’ve conducted for assignments from local publications has had notes scribbled down in that book. It’s been with me almost everywhere I go, a fixture in my bag. It’s covered PTO meetings in a pinch, held flyers, cards and business receipts. I’ve opened it up to conduct interviews and had all sorts of things fly out of it in what was probably most definitely not a favorable impression upon my editor standing there.
It’s been almost 8 years since I first wrote in that book full of blank pages. I conducted an interview last week for an assignment and when I sat down to write a rough draft in the days that followed, I realized the number of blank pages left are few – at best, I have one short interview left in my pink notebook. It somehow seems fitting that this happened just as I had begun filling other notebooks with other more ambitious writing projects. I’ve struggled in recent years with a bit of writer’s block, but I’ve come out of that in the last few weeks with an itch to write. And as such, I’ve got a number of projects in various stages, including some things I am putting proposals together for, which is new and exciting while also scary. You know, that fear of rejection. Having never actually had to write a pitch, it’s new territory for me.
But when I look at my pink notebook, I am reminded how just sitting down and writing was new territory for me once upon a time. That pink notebook is so much more than just a notebook. It’s a symbol of what I can accomplish, particularly when I’m not sure how to proceed. It may have been my first writer’s notebook, but it’s definitely not my last.
5 thoughts on “The Pink Notebook”
What a great story and I love writing talismans. You’ve got a lot of talent so I hope when that one fills, you get a new one and keep going!
I’ve already started filling some new ones in with bigger and better projects! Stay tuned.
What a wonderful keepsake you have!
You have such an interesting life. I admire and feel inspired by how you dive in and try the things and creatively mold the world around you. And how cool to go back through your notebook to remember it all. Sometimes we forget where we’ve been, those journals and diaries are great touchstones.
Very inspiring, Becky! Can’t wait to hear more about your new projects.