If you find the blank, pristine possibility of a blank page more intimidating than inspiring, we've got you.
Blank notebooks are perfect for the changeable needs of the creative process, but starting a fresh notebook can take a bit of courage. There's so much potential there, so much space waiting for words, thoughts, projects . . . where do you even start?
Perhaps some of your hesitation comes from a tendency to be cautious, a fear of 'ruining' the blankness. Let me tell you a little secret—there's nothing more ruinous than an unused notebook. A notebook is made to be used, and an empty one is a sad sight.
When you open your new notebook, don’t let it stay pristine. Make a mark, make something imperfect.
Get started with a title page
Title pages can make your notebook feel storybook whimsical or classically academic, depending. They're also an excellent way to make use of all those washi tapes and sticker sheets you've got stashed away. A dramatic title is a fun way to begin a notebook, so why not invent the novel title of your dreams? Or go with a more practical title, perhaps with the year/date or topic. Or go with the long-time classic, 'Chapter One’.
Mess it up with a coffee-ring
Usually an unintentional occurrence, this is also a lovely way to make a notebook feel a little less precious and a little more useable. Grab a teacup or mug, dip the base in tea or coffee, and sit it on the page for a moment.
Keepsake a favourite poem
This can make a beautiful, thematic start to a journal or diary. And don't fret over pretty handwriting. Your everyday handwriting is pretty enough already.
Spill your ink
Okay, so maybe don't actually do this. But a controlled spatter of ink or paint can break up the emptiness, and give an artistic touch at the same time.
Make a list
List-makers, unite! A list is a simple, no-stress way to get those first words down. What about? A list of your favourite things, a list of dreams and goals, or perhaps a list of books that are yet to-be-read.
Create a colour palette
You'll need some colour pencils for this one. Spend a bit of time sorting out a handful of colours that appeal to you, and start swatching them on the page. No need to worry about keeping it neat or even, just put those swatches down. Try overlapping swatches to find some new colours!
Use up all those stickers
If you're an avid collector of stickers, you probably have a stash of them unused. Breaking a blank page up with a few cute stickers can make all the difference. It doesn't matter where you place them, because you can just write around them.
And remember, you won't mess it up. It doesn't have to be perfect. That's the wonderful thing about notebooks, after all. They're not for anyone but you.