I’ve been thinking lately about all this “stuff” that we collect, the pens, art tools, drawing tools, notebooks, sketchbooks — all the mark-making, list-making and note-taking tools and I had to ask myself, what purpose do they serve?
I believe that these tools inspire us and ignite our individual urges to create. They free our creativity and sometimes even fuel them. Each pen, ink, notebook, pencil or scrap of paper gives us an excuse to tuck ourselves into our little paper world and spend some time with our thoughts and ideas. Sometimes, they make the icky tasks more palatable — why not turn your grocery list into a place to practice your calligraphy or drawing skills?
I believe that all these tools should bring you joy (Don’t write with a crappy pen! Don’t draw on crappy paper!). I believe that these tools and toys should inspire each of us to take out of the busy, hectic or mundane moments of our lives to make something — whether its as simple as a note or letter to someone, or as epic as writing on opera.
If buying a new pen, a new bottle of ink or some other doodad will compel you to sit down for 15 minutes and coax out an idea, a doodle, a story or a memory, then do it. Buy that pen. You DO need that notebook. Just don’t let shopping for that “perfect” whatever get in the way of actually doing/making/writing/composing/planning something.
Carve out time to paint, doodle, color, stitch, sketch, write, make lists, whatever. Because, in the end, we all meet our end. Let’s take this precious time we have to leave our mark. That why this matters.
(Shout out to all those folks who write about being passionate, inspired and creative above all else. Big thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert and her new book Big Magic. Love and hugs to everyone else. You know who you are.)