Humans have been recording our thoughts, big ideas, and plans for thousands of years― although perhaps some of us have moved past scrawling stick figures on the walls. Notebooks are a popular method of writing things down.
Honestly, there’s just nothing better than taking a pencil between your fingers and scribbling down your ideas. It’s therapeutic.
But the question still remains: what makes us leave our notebooks unfinished? Why do we insist on buying more notebooks when we haven’t finished the ones we already have?
Often, people buy new notebooks to avoid being reminded of the unfinished ideas in the old pages since new notebooks offer a blank page on which they can start afresh. We buy new notebooks to create an illusion of starting again.
If you’re anything like me, you probably have quite a few unfinished notebooks lying around and feel frustrated that you haven’t just stuck to one of them.
The rest of this article will explore why that happens and what you can do to feel more fulfilled when you’re journaling or scribbling down your ideas.
Table of Contents
Why Do We Keep a Notebook Anyway?
Notebooks are where we chronicle our lives. Socrates once argued that “the unexamined life isn’t worth living,” and perhaps he was on to something.
Many successful people keep a daily journal where they write about who they want to be and dream big about their future goals. It’s a judgment-free zone in which we can imagine the future without being shackled by the past or write about the past without fearing the future.
Either way, many psychologists agree that journals are good for your mental health. Clarity of thought is clarity of mind after all, and journaling is a well-known option for dealing with stress in a controlled environment where you can address your thoughts.
Of course, introspection isn’t the only reason we write in notebooks. Many people use them to write down ideas― song lyrics, poems, book concepts― that come to them at the moment. Need to grab some hoisin sauce for that recipe you’re making? Write it down in a notebook.
We Keep Buying Notebooks to Forget Old Ones
If you’re like me, you’ve opened up old notebooks with one eye closed, not wanting to see those awful ideas you’ve had in the past―things that never came to fruition. It feels like every time you open up those pages, you’re reminded of those old ideas and memories.
Since we don’t want to relive those moments, it’s easier to start over and forget those old mistakes. Maybe your old notebooks are filled with future career goals that were never realized, songs that were never sung, or a drawing passion that never took flight.
It may seem cliché, but when we look back at those moments, we often find ourselves wishing for simpler times― the fleeting joys of youth.
Opening those pages again is like opening an old wound, and sometimes, leaving those memories behind is easier than reliving them every time we crack open a new notebook.
We Keep Buying New Notebooks to Start Over
Maybe it’s just the way of the world now, but whenever I get a new notebook and settle down to write in it for the first time, I’m always thinking, “This is it. This is where I get to start afresh with all my great ideas.”
There’s just something great about starting over, which is why we keep buying notebooks― to get that rush of enthusiasm when we have a new idea. After all, new ideas need a new housing space to put them in, right?
A fresh notebook has the promise of potential, limitless potential. This golden opportunity fills us with excitement. What new idea might present itself this time?
It’s a form of self-motivation to plan ahead with notebooks, and there’s nothing better than that clean slate feeling of a new notebook.
We Keep Buying New Notebooks Because They Look Good
Sometimes, it’s just that simple. Maybe you like that Disney-themed notebook with your favorite character on it or the fancy dotted notebook with high-quality paper and ribbons.
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Whatever the case, sometimes, we just can’t resist a shiny new notebook. It’s quite remarkable how companies are capable of making thinly sliced trees into something so appealing.
Oh, this notebook comes with perforated paper and a gusseted pocket, you say? How very extravagant!
Whether it’s a desire to have the latest and greatest in notebook technology or an appealing themed design for a notebook, sometimes we just want something new to scratch that itch.
It’s remarkable to think how little humans have really changed over the centuries. We still write down our ideas on paper, and record our thoughts and dreams for some historians centuries down the line to find. Who knows?
Maybe our shopping list will be the subject of great discussion in the future. Regardless of why we write in notebooks, we just can’t seem to break the habit of buying new notebooks.
Some people buy new notebooks to avoid remembering those long-forgotten ideas in the old ones, concepts that we no longer think will ever come to anything. Conversely, some people keep buying notebooks to create a feeling of starting anew.
Those fresh, blank pages are filled with limitless potential, and sometimes an empty notebook feels better than a used one. Lastly, people may buy new notebooks just for the thrill of having something new.
A sleek new design or the promise of high-quality paper may inspire some people to pick up their journaling again. Whatever makes you keep wanting to start a new notebook and leave the old ones half-finished, don’t be discouraged.
Psychologists assert that journals are a healthy way of expressing your thoughts in a safe environment. Many successful people write a journal chronicling their life journey, who they want to be in the future, and how they are coping with stresses that press upon them daily.
Hopefully, their example will inspire you to keep pursuing your dreams.