Create Before 8 · Creativity

On the Value of the Scrap Notebook


Here’s a transcription of the first page of my brand new scrap notebook:

This is my second composition scrap notebook, and I must admit, the process has been both challenging and liberating. It’s challenging because I still have a hard time allowing myself to use these pages, especially if I know the note will be just a line or two. It still feels like waste sometimes, but it’s actually just use, and I need to get over that. It’s liberating because it does act as a very helpful “dumping ground” for lists and general information. I can tape in extra papers I need to keep, and draw doodles that can be covered up if I don’t like them. One thing I want to do is be more categorical-color the edges of pages that all go together. It will make things easier to find. So I hereby grant myself freedom to write, wreck, reminisce, etcetera. There are no rules. Just create. You can digitalize it later.

Signed and dated, me. My first book has a mere 9 pages left, and I’m saving them for a talk I plan to attend next week. That should just about fill it up.

I’ve been itching to start a new one, and I’ve been preventing myself… but really, in the spirit of scrap notebooking, why not start a new one?

I enjoy scrap notebooking, because I don’t have the pressure of producing colorful art journal pages. Ink is sometimes all I have time for, and while it’s not much at the present moment, having a fully inked notebook that spans an entire semester is much more rewarding than just 3-5 nicely done art journal pages. This liberates me. And so I do. And so I will.

Do you do a variation of my scrap notebook style? If so, what do you like about it, and if not… what’s holding you back from starting one?

Happy journaling!


2 thoughts on “On the Value of the Scrap Notebook

  1. I have both a scrap notebook and an art journal book. I call scrap notebook,my brain dump notebook and my art journal book, my art time book. There are a lot of entries in my brain dump notebook, mostly quotes I chanced upon, a few doodles, mind maps of about anything that comes to mind, grocery lists, to do lists etc. Such a liberating thing when anything that clatters the mind is being put into writing.


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