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.)
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.
Several things came together to get me started with paper journals again.
My brother suggested that we might write one another actual paper letters. I think that was partially just because it’s fun to receive actual paper letters, but also because we’d been talking about reviving an idea we worked on a while back, for collaborating on an epistolary story in Esperanto, which would involve the characters writing actual paper letters, which put us in the frame of mind of thinking about letters.
At about the same time, Tobias Buckell wrote a post about starting a bullet journal, with links to a couple of videos (one a nice review of a particular notebook designed with bullet journaling in mind, the other a video on starting a bullet journal).
As an aside, let me mention that the main bullet journal site has the “reference guide” for bullet journaling translated into many languages, including Esperanto! (They want you to give them your email address and sign up for their newsletter to get the link to the reference guides.)
I’m perpetually vulnerable to diving too deep down this particular rabbit hole, geeking out over anything and everything related: notebooks, paper, pens, etc. Already I have:
Gotten out and inked a couple of fountain pens that I haven’t used since I was working at a regular job (and had enough opportunities to take notes that I could work my way through a piston converter full of ink before it dried out).
Rearranged sheets in several of my Levenger Circa notebooks to clear one for daily use as a bullet journal, and used it as such for almost a week now.
Drafted a handy Field Notes notebook for separately tracking my bodyweight workouts (which seem to call for their own non-bullet journal).
Downloaded two separate PDF workbooks on Spencerian handwriting, and spent perhaps an hour practicing (my long-ago forgotten) cursive writing.
Written two letters to my brother and one to my mom.
I’m having great fun. It’s probably a big waste of time, but I’m finding it a at least a little bit useful:
I’ve probably remembered to do a couple of things I’d have forgotten, because I had noted the task in my journal.
I’ve probably done a couple of things that I’d otherwise have procrastinated on, because I had noted the task in my journal (and didn’t want to either strike it out nor carry it forward another day).
I’ve definitely got a much better idea what I’ve actually gotten done, because I have a record in my journal.