Stationery Addiction: the Hidden Dangers.

It has come to my attention, that I may have a stationery problem.

In just over two weeks, I will leave on my farm-stay adventure and while I am away, a friend will be moving in to become my awesome new roommate. Yay! This is very exciting. But it will mean some changes and the first of those changes is that my small, Japanese apartment has come in for some heavy duty cleaning up, throwing out of stuff and general reorganisation.

Anyone who has ever moved house knows there is something really depressing about throwing stuff out. Empowering t0o – getting rid of some of the items I have accumulated felt liberating. Seeing my cluttered apartment gradually become more streamlined and orderly has been great. Looking at my belongings, I have had to re-evaluate what is important to me and had to my future. But as I have endeavoured to literally become attached to said items, the process of multiple goodbyes is inevitably depressing.

And nothing is more depressing or more difficult than my notebooks. Not full notebooks that I have used. For some reason, I can part with those easily. The pages and pages of scribbled Kanji practice and grammar drills from studying Japanese? I am glad to see the last of them. The JL PT was a challenge and (eventually) an achievement but I definitely do not miss studying for it at all. My writing notebooks? I found the notebook I used to research and plot Deep Magic. Flicking through it brought back a ton of great memories. It was hard to part with, but project completed it was time to let the notebook go.

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A ridiculous amount of notebooks in a box. I am seriously ashamed to count them and see how many excess notebooks I have accumulated. 

Its the notebooks with the projects that aren’t completed that is the problem. I have tendency to make big plans—bigger than I can pull off. Most of my notebooks were bought with a particular project in mind. I have found five diaries, in varying stages of completion. I’ve lost count of the blank notebooks whose purpose I no longer remember. But it’s the half used ones although barely used ones that are the big problem. These contain half formed story ideas, translation projects, travel plans, and research. Saying goodbye to them is like saying I will never finish this story or this project. And that’s really hard to do.

I’m sure a lot of it is just that, like most people, I hate to admit that I’ve failed and not completed something. But I think a bigger part of it is just that each of those notebooks is invested with something of me. A story that still resonates and that I still want to write. A project that still means a lot to me. Unlike other possessions I have accumulated, these aren’t so easily given away. And it’s hard to justify the expense of shipping these notebooks—and there are a lot of notebooks—back home.

On the bright side? I still have five months. I’m sure I can use at least a few of these notebooks in that time.

6 comments

  1. Maybe I’m weird, but I wouldn’t feel right tossing a notebook for a completed project. What if I one day decided to write a sequel? Even if it was for a story I’ve never thought of completing a sequel for before. Sometimes, flipping through old notebooks have that effect on me. Is that why you toss it though? Hmmm… Guess that’s why I would… To prevent such things.

    1. Sadly, there is no way I can afford to take all my notebooks with me — even going for sea mail, which is the cheapest way of sending stuff internationally, it adds up to more than I can justify. At least with completed projects, I can reread the story.

      I don’t want to toss any of these, but it’s unavoidable due to space constraints and the sheer cost of moving from country to country.

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