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Fear Of Making A Mess


sandy101
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Does anyone else have the fear of making a mess, especially when crouched over their new expensive journal poised to write a dodgy line of verse?

 

I find myself doing this all the time. I think it comes from school where your work is supposed to be "neat and tidy" and the thought of filling my journal with crossings out and blots at times slows me down. I have to remind myself that it's my work, and no-one else is going to see it, at least until I have perfected it, and probably typed it up.

 

Sometimes I have to force myself by vandalising a page by doodling or doing 5 minute automatic writing exercises to get myself into the it doesn't matter/creative mindset. It becomes less of a problem once the journal is part filled, but with new journals it is a big problem and sometimes I buy two journals, because subliminally I'm worried that I'll make a mess of one, so I always have a spare.

 

Does anyone else have the same condition? What do you do to break in a new journal and get rid of the fear of making a mess?

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Does anyone else have the fear of making a mess, especially when crouched over their new expensive journal poised to write a dodgy line of verse?

 

I find myself doing this all the time. I think it comes from school where your work is supposed to be "neat and tidy" and the thought of filling my journal with crossings out and blots at times slows me down. I have to remind myself that it's my work, and no-one else is going to see it, at least until I have perfected it, and probably typed it up.

 

Sometimes I have to force myself by vandalising a page by doodling or doing 5 minute automatic writing exercises to get myself into the it doesn't matter/creative mindset. It becomes less of a problem once the journal is part filled, but with new journals it is a big problem and sometimes I buy two journals, because subliminally I'm worried that I'll make a mess of one, so I always have a spare.

 

Does anyone else have the same condition? What do you do to break in a new journal and get rid of the fear of making a mess?

 

I'm not sure I think of it in exactly the same words, but yeah, I have a fear of "ruining" journals.

 

I have a few empty journals which speak pathetically to this problem.

 

I'm not sure for me that it is the fear of making a visual mess with blots, crossing out, etc, as it is finding something to write that I think is worthy of the fancy journal.

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as it is finding something to write that I think is worthy of the fancy journal.

 

I think you're getting closer to what I wanted to say. It has to be worthy enough for the pretty journal, and then it has to be neat enough to be worthy too.

 

I am able to get over this mental hurdle, but it is a hurdle I have to consciously overcome sometimes.

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Shooters call it "target panic". The gun is lined up on the center of the target, but it is wandering around slightly and you just can't make yourself pull the trigger. You are afraid you will miss the X ring.

 

Don't worry about the work being worthy of the book. 99% of people don't have the guts to write something on a paper bag. Your stuff is worthy. Believe it. So you misspell a word and have to cross it out, or you leave a blot on the page. Five hundred years from now, someone is going to read your journal and say, "After reading all of those books about sandy101, I have absolute proof that he/she was really human."

Edited by Paddler

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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Yep. But I usually then just scribble/doodle something to get over it and continue on. :D Most of my journals will start out with a doodle.

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Sandy101, everyone in the whole universe has experienced similar fears. (My theory is that is comes from the competition to get an "A". We've all been brainwashed into thinking that a mistake is a sin, rather than a learning moment. But I digress . . . )

 

One tactic that I find useful is to get out a set of crummy watercolors and mess up the first ten or fifteen pages of that pristine forbidding journal. Just a few washes of color or some wide light swaths. Or paint some frames on a page. Nothing in any way artsy, just colors and swaths that will work as a subtle background for whatever you write. That way you've (first) broken in the new journal and (second) exercised the child part of your mind by putting down mindless swaths of color instead of perfect verse.

 

It's a win.

Edited by Johan.Witt
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For years I wrote in (gasp) pencil so that I could wipe away mistakes. Finally I started a new journal and decided at that moment to go to fountain pen and never look back. My journals have cross-outs and ink blobs and such, but they are me. However, I still can't bring myself to draw pictures in the journal - my drawings would truly be dreadful.

 

John

The Moonwalk Pen - honoring Apollo lunar landings
4-x-2-advertisement-copy-reduced-size.jp

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I see anything that I hand write as a rough draft. Rough drafts should be crossed out, scribbled, and have random arrows, highlights, and margin notes.

 

To me, it doesn't matter how nice the notebook.

Edited by Waski_the_Squirrel

Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

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*running into room with flailing arms*

 

When I make a mess I take a moment to thoroughly describe the event right there. It is not only characteristic of my sense of humor, it serves as a way to relax and get back into focus. When one of those sidebar ramblings becomes a cartoon sitcom, we'll all know it was just a goof. ;)

Edited by AfterMyNap

—Cindy

 

“This is the sort of pedantry up with which I will not put.”

—Winston Churchill (attributed)

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Shooters call it "target panic". The gun is lined up on the center of the target, but it is wandering around slightly and you just can't make yourself pull the trigger. You are afraid you will miss the X ring.

 

Don't worry about the work being worthy of the book. 99% of people don't have the guts to write something on a paper bag. Your stuff is worthy. Believe it. So you misspell a word and have to cross it out, or you leave a blot on the page. Five hundred years from now, someone is going to read your journal and say, "After reading all of those books about sandy101, I have absolute proof that he/she was really human."

now, that is a Pep Talk my friend! *claps*

I'm not affiliated with ANY of the brands/retailers/shops/ebay sellers/whatever I mention or recommend. If that ever changes, I will let you know :)

 

Looking for a cheap Pilot VP/Capless - willing to put up with lots of cosmetic damage.

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Glad you brought this up.

 

I'm new to high-end paper and have a slightly different problem: I feel like each different journal should only be used for a specific kind of writing. But I don't know yet what those would be! Do I put my personal journal in the little dot grid book? Do I put notes from my reading in the Rhodia? What deserves to go in the Tomoe River journal?!!!

 

I don't seem to worry about mistakes--blotches and such turn into illustrations....

"Ravens play with lost time."

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I guess we all went through this. Eventually, you write a journal for you. Years down the road you will re read your journals and will remember how you felt when you wrote those lines, why that blot is there, and you will be able to relive those moments and reprocess your ideas to get new ones.

 

Just enjoy writing your journals :)

 

Dr P

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I just get the words down and I reckon that life's too short to worry about that sort of thing.

If only I could read them...

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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Maybe just write on the journal as if you are working on a mathematical problem. I am still to find a mathematician that from time to time does not have to scratch out some of the work and re-start at least parts of it.

Kind regards,

 

Rui

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Sandy101, everyone in the whole universe has experienced similar fears. (My theory is that is comes from the competition to get an "A". We've all been brainwashed into thinking that a mistake is a sin, rather than a learning moment. But I digress . . . )

 

One tactic that I find useful is to get out a set of crummy watercolors and mess up the first ten or fifteen pages of that pristine forbidding journal. Just a few washes of color or some wide light swaths. Or paint some frames on a page. Nothing in any way artsy, just colors and swaths that will work as a subtle background for whatever you write. That way you've (first) broken in the new journal and (second) exercised the child part of your mind by putting down mindless swaths of color instead of perfect verse.

 

It's a win.

 

+ 1 for this.

 

I always "mess up" the first few pages with things like colour washes, doodles, initials, scribbled small pictures - anything really. I also cut out and stick in words & pictures from magazines or wrapping paper & use rubber stamps. Or I just copy out a favourite verse or book extract. Just do what makes you happy. You don't have to be artistic or think too hard about it, as long as you enjoy the images. And sometimes the act of putting non-writing stuff on the page helps me decide what to use the journal for; or at least gives it a theme. Other times the pages treated in this way don't relate at all to the rest of the journal. It doesn't really matter.

 

Anything that breaks the whiteness and newness, is creative and that prevents you from thinking about the actual act of writing.

Verba volant, scripta manent

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Wow... once again, I thought I was all alone... struggling with an increasing collection of journals that remained pristine. Those same anxious moments as I open yet another new journal ready, to let the thoughts flow into the words on the page - then the hesitation creeps in like an echo of the headmaster from the past. "Make it count... Do you best... What's your plan? ... Where are you going to go with this? .... Do you really want to say that? .... Where's your dictionary?" ... (And I love this one from the librarian decades ago) "Did you actually WRITE in that book?"

 

So thanks for so many bringing this into the light of day. There are some great ideas shared here and viewpoints that are tools to to be picked up and used.

 

For some reason it brings to mind the closing lines of Tom Cruise's character in Risky Business,

"Sometimes, you just gotta say, What the _____."

 

NEXT!

Edited by Scribe_Not

If you say GULLIBLE real slowly,

it sounds like ORANGES.

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Maybe this will help dispell some of the "new journal panic".

 

This fall, I attended a historical reenactment and festival. The theme was American Revolutionary War. There was a sutler selling reproduction glassware, dinnerware, pencil boxes, lap desks, etc. He had a small shelf of journal books in various sizes made by Paperblanks. One of those has 240 pages in faux silver filigree covers with metal clasps. The paper edges have a printed design. The pages are smooth laid paper. The book was expensive and I had no immediate use for it, but I just had to have it. Before I put down my money, I asked the merchant how the paper takes modern fountain pen ink. He said he doesn't use the books -- just sells them. So, I took a chance and bought the book anyway. Then, I told him, "Watch this. We are both going to learn something." I turned to the last page in the book, took out my fountain pen and wrote, "Testing with Parker's Blue Black Quink". The line was perfect: no feather, no bleed, no show-through. So now, the book is no longer pristine, but the ice has been broken in legitimate fashion and I can write in the front of it without twinge of conscience.

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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