When I was little I’d come home from school and rip out all the notes in my Mead Wide Rules. Why? To rewrite them, of course. They were never neat enough the first time around, all that rushing to get the info down, trying desperately not to miss anything. I wanted calm and controlled script. If someone ever looked over my shoulder, I wanted to look like I knew what the hell I was doing.
When I went back to college as an old lady this habit remained. I’d fight the afternoon rush-hour to get home from the U, and with supper cooking on the stove I’d rewrite all of my notes, every last page. I made them look good, those notes, made them calm and controlled. Made them the me I wanted to be.
This rewriting compulsion finally went away when I started writing a book. At age 46, my notebooks finally look like me: extreme. On one page the print is so small and crowded I can barely read it. On another it’s so big that 4 or 6 words take up an entire page. And what’s with the giant, frenetic-looking stars all over the place but me YELLING …. at myself??
Today I went here and took a look at some famous notebooks. I’m a bit Marilyn Monroe, but wish I were Frida Kahlo. Who are you?