I got the first order of my Field Notes subscription, so I thought I’d do a quick unboxing post. The first thing I noticed was that I had the box upside down.

With that problem fixed, I was greeted with the Field Notes motto, a sentiment that has appealed to me since I first met it:

From that reinforcing message I moved on to the contents:

I had promised to share the notebooks with Jackie, and she immediately wanted the packet with Rocky Mountains, Great Smokey Mountains, and Yellowstone. I claimed the packet with Joshua Tree, the destination of the best camping trip I took during the months I lived in Los Angeles.

The next step is to get over the hesitation I always have to start using a nice notebook. Part of the reason I got the subscription is that I’ve been actually using my notebooks lately, which gives me some confidence that I actually will. But another part is that I’m hoping having a nine notebooks (plus three more boxes coming over the course of the year) will make starting any one notebook seem a little less fraught.

I’ve been purely a lurker, watching the Field Notes RSS feed, checking out their posts and videos, literally for more than a decade: I remember admiring their products from my cubicle back when I was working at a regular job. I even kept that RSS feed in my reader after they broke their website and didn’t have a valid feed for a couple of years.

Now, just a few minutes ago, I finally pulled the trigger on an annual subscription to their notebooks, starting with the National Parks series. (I have promised Jackie that I’ll share the notebooks with her, and I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to see that the National Parks are what we’re starting with.)

Updates once I get my first shipment!

Promotional image courtesy of Field Notes.

On Oliver Sacks: his writing process, how he used notebooks, and his views on creativity. Via Field Notes.

Where making is driven by association and memory, birthing “needs ‘incubation’” and is marked by intuition. But before we hasten to assume that he valued the latter type of creative work more highly than the former, he lists Darwin as an example of a writer who makes and Rilke as one who births, which strongly suggests that he saw the two not as a hierarchy but as distinct, complementary forms of creative work — Darwin was, after all, one of Dr. Sacks’s great heroes.

Source: Inside Oliver Sacks’s Creative Process: The Beloved Writer’s Never-Before-Seen Manuscripts, Brainstorm Sheets, and Notes on Writing, Creativity, and the Brain