The Thrill of the New Notebook


In 2017 I worked with a person who made beautiful hand-written notes of meetings and conversations.  She used an A4 notebook with unlined pages.  Her lovely handwriting flowed over the page, brought to life with symbols and clever little illustrations and symbols.  Once I noticed that she had almost filled a notebook and had a fresh one sitting on her desk, ready to start.  I asked her whether she would leave some pages empty in her current notebook so she could use the new one sooner.  “I’m resisting the new book … but probably not.” she replied.  We spoke about the delight of opening an empty notebook, the delightful anticipation of using it, imagining the conversations you might record, and how you would make your note-taking better than your last book.  The potential represented by a new notebook is thrilling.

I had a similar sensation yesterday when I walked into my apartment.  It was empty.  Pristine white walls.  Freshly cleaned carpets without any imprints from furniture resting on it.  Ready for my daughter and I to create our new home after 214 days on the road.  We have a few pieces of furniture to come out of storage, limited kitchen equipment and no decor.  A rare opportunity to create a space from scratch.

I am relishing the potential for creation.  I want to linger a little in this phase – imagining what might be, creating a vision and direction to guide choices about what I bring into the home and how I set it up.

I often feel this little rush, this thrill of what might be, at the start of a project or creative process.  This includes in my professional life where I create things like mentoring programs, workshops, learning strategies, online communities, newsletters, articles or presentations.   It’s enjoyable to bring the vision to life too, especially when the output or outcome is even better than you imagined.  However, I find a deep thrill in the early stages when possibilities are wide open and you get to design (or co-design) and plan something new.

Is this sensation familiar to you?

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