I love the blank page. The blank page of a computer screen fills me with the thrill of possibility. But something happens when I see the blank page of a notebook. Is it fear or writer’s block that suddenly hits me? No, I don’t think so. My ideas are are as alive and well as they’ve ever been, and I actually do like writing longhand. So, what is it that makes starting a new blank notebook so hard to do? Well, for me, it’s what I like to call the first page jynx.
Meaning, in a nutshell, that whatever I first write down in a notebook seems to scar all the remaining pages 70 to 200 college ruled pages forever.
It’s only a silly writer’s superstition or deep seated anxiety in my mind, I know, but those first words just stay with me.
Even if it is just a draft that later turns golden with editing, if I don’t like those first few words, the notebook in question always feels a bit less lucky. If, for example, I years ago used most of a notebooks pages for a math class I didn’t do so well in, any story I try to start on the remaining pages just feels off.
On the other hand, a notebook I write a good first sentence in is quickly filled up, and mourned long after it is gone as a lucky charm.
I’m a collector more than anything, and I always have a pile of writing notebooks waiting to be used on my sofa and under my bed. Their covers are bright , and inside they blank pages are clean and undecided, waiting for that first mark.
Here’s to freshly sharpened pencils.