Moleskine Anxiety

I have a condition, a condition so stupid I’m afraid to even mention it.  I have Moleskine Anxiety.  I love the feel of the paper in the Moleskine notebook, the texture of the cover, and the solid construction of the binding.  Even though they cost around $12 per notebook, I have several of them and fight the urge to purchase more every time I see one in the store.  Good stuff.  My problem, though, is they are too nice.  I sometimes feel afraid to write in them.

I don’t know why I feel this way.  Part of me doesn’t want to sully the clean, blank pages with my horribly messy scribbles.  Another part of it, I think, is that I usually write my first drafts in my Moleskines, and well first drafts aren’t supposed to be good.  However, when I write in the notebooks I feel those words will last forever.

I have gotten around  my Moleskine Anxiety, telling myself they are only notebooks and really they were made (and purchased) to be written in.  Now and again,though, the Anxiety does return.

I know a few of you write in Moleskine notebooks as well.  Have you experienced anything like Moleskine Anxiety?

27 thoughts on “Moleskine Anxiety

  1. Sympathies, you have my sympathies. Why besmirch a perfectly good notebook, foreign made with a sterling tradition dating back to Hemingway et all with inane noodling?

    That’s what those ugly yellow, 8 1/2 X 11 legal pads are for. Moleskines should contain pearls of wisdom, pages of pristine prose with clever sketches in the margins.

    Ah, what the hell. They’re only 12 bucks each, right? Chatwin probably used some of the pages of his Moleskine as toilet paper on one of his harrowing travel adventures. You can still find potent roaches (and I don’t mean bugs) between the pages of Hunter Thompson’s, I’m sure.

    You gotta TAME that notebook, mon, make it your own. Do some of that surrealist “automatic writing”, a few paragraphs of stream of consciousness to break the ice. A scatalogical scribble at the bottom to make your point…

  2. Dude, look. Were else would you put your scribblings? It’s a notebook. It’s meant to be written in. When I get a new journal – whether it’s a moleskin or not – I’m always itching to write something in it, knowing damn full well, that it’s probably stupid and inane.

    That being said, I think I know what you mean.

    But really, go ahead and write in it. You’re a writer!


  3. I don’t have any Moleskine notebooks myself, but I do have some which I consider particularly special, because of the quality of the paper or the design on the cover, or just the feel of the lovely fresh pages that have yet to be written on. Take my word for it that I have experienced similar anxiety with these! I suppose we just have to face the fact that they will have to be written in eventually.

  4. I know exactly what you’re saying. I put too much pressure on myself with notebooks, be they Moleskine or otherwise. I feel like my handwriting needs to be perfect, my ideas fully fleshed out, and my margin doodles works of art.

    I always imagine someone finding the notebook in 100 years, after I’ve become rich and famous and passed on, opening it and seeing “I need to get some milk from the store. Hmm, maybe I can write a milk-related story. Lactose intolerant aliens or some such…” written on the first page with my chicken scratch writing.

  5. I buy cheap notebooks, because I tend to treat them like crap – pages get torn out, other pages get stapled in…it’s a real mess. I don’t think I’m worthy of a Moleskin.

    However, I do have that feeling sometimes when I make a really, really tasty-looking sandwich. Almost breaks my heart to eat it.

  6. I know how you feel SW. Sadly my own addiction to paper doesn’t extend only to the moleskines, but even to the cheap brown paper notebooks (latest one being by Paperchase. I fell for the pretty stripes on the cover). And no I haven’t done justice to any of them. I’ve used two pages in each and that’s it.
    Looking and touching and smelling them really brings out the endorphins. Sigh. I don’t think there’s a cure for this 😦

  7. SW-I started using these things back in 2002 and have gone through seventeen of them now. Periodically I have issues with their less-than-heirloom-quality prose and handwriting, but mostly I am going for quantity. Sometimes I go to meetings at work and the only way I can stay focussed (without mouthing off or criticizing people, which I try to avoid these days) is to write down everything that people say, no matter how inane. It has given me a feel for patterns of speech, etc. Sometimes I just write down what people are wearing, and what it is that I think they are trying to communicate by their clothing choices. I write quotes from books I’m reading, dialogue from movies, lists of things, notes, you name it. Sometimes it bothers me a little, thinking about what people will think about these things after I die, assuming I do, but mostly the dying is what will bother me, I think.

    By the way, I know this is off-post, but I like the new look. The header is ironic, I have decided.

    • Love your idea of just writing writing writing!

      I wonder if anyone will read what you wrote–either it will be a priceless record, or like the Stasi files from East Germany, so copious no one could really digest all the information!

  8. I feel your pain, to use an expression I’m not fond of. And yet it’s so appropriate here. I have both a huge stack of 1/2 size yellow legal paper tablets, and a small stack of lined pocket moleksines. I do believe it’s the dreadful perfectionist tendencies in those of us that are hesitant to “soil” a new, pristine moleskine with our first writings.

    My solution? Challenge myself to move way outside of my comfort zone and “just write in it”. Mistakes and all. After much research and agonizing I finally found an exemplary pen to use. It’s a Pilot G-TEC-C4. A gel pen. I read about these on the web in some moleskine blog. Looked up the U.S. Pilot site only to find them missing. Googled them and found a store in NY that sells them. At about $3.00 per pen, they are rather pricey but dry nearly instantly, write without spitting, or leaving globs of ink on the page. They are also 0.4 in size so the fine line allows one to cram a lot in a single line. Perfect….Oops there is that dreadful word again…tsk…tsk…:)

    Now one year later, my original moleskine with it’s nice smooth writing, along with what started out as barely readable scrawl, (using a laptop killed my penmanship) I look back with fondness at this moleksine that has become “mine” warts and all. A testament to my willingness to do something different and embrace a partial return to the analog pen and paper method.

  9. aww… i feel for you… i bought 2 moleskins and one really good quality helo kitty one, i didnt write in them, until my parents asked me what i write in the $15 notebooks they bought, and i took out my old blue pukka notebook with my little character doodles in each one
    i told them i will use them, but i think i might keep them for Nanowrimo, when i have something that will look good, and last for over half the page in the book, now for the moleskin, use a good pen that lasts, and only use it when you feel like your little inspiration will last over 1 page…teehee…okay i suggest buy a few…2 or so and aso a cheap one, that will last then if you want you can have one for doodling in your first copy, and your other one for a good copy.

    Get a good paper:mate gelGlide pen that lasts and write, you shouldnt be worrying about it.

    If you use it for jotting down ideas , then you buy another one thatll hold the good copy, get one that stands out, in size or colour for the good copy so you dont lose the good one like i did, i list my NaNoNovel…eeek…i was only 11 when i wrote it, but it was my prized posession. i also had a really small one that i kept in my PJ Panda and i slept with my book…lol

    kk bye

    Emilia Z

  10. Wow, I guess I’m not alone with this. Thanks everyone for the comments.

    moleskine writer & recovering perfectionsit – thanks for the pen suggestion. I need to check that out.Sounds really nice.

    Emilia -thanks for the advice. Hope you stop by again.

  11. I don’t suffer this disease. Just rip out a sheet and write on it. The more you use, the more you can buy. 😉

    Sorry, I can’t stop myself. I love writing in notebooks. I don’t suffer your disease, but seeing scribble in a notebook of any kind…well, I…can’t…*Karen gets the shakes and quickly leaves*

  12. hello again,
    I think that you should do what you feel is best!! but even if your (book or diaryy or whatever your using it for) is really good, use it, you can buy another one if you need it!!! do you have any other forum things here??

    kk i hope you lose the anxiety poppet!!

  13. Actually I tend to do that with sketchbooks. For the longest time I’ve been trying to develop a comic book series with original characters, and I start out ok in the sketchbook, but then the perfectionist side of me comes out and I start tearing out any drawings with even the smallest flaws in them.

  14. Emilia – thanks for the encouragement. I’ll try to get over the anxiety. As you say, I can always buy another one.

    mykietown – Even artists go through this?! That sounds rough. Good luck with the comic book, though.

  15. have you written in it yet?? Because if you have i am very proud of you.!! this is my favourite topic yet!!! it is so fascinating!!

  16. Live now! If you love your Moleskins, use them as much as you can. When you have filled all their pages, buy more as soon as you are able. Transform them into a metaphor for your life which should be lived in a constant state of beauty and creation. Enjoy!

  17. Ha, I think thats actually the great part about those books. That the first drafts will there last forever, for you alone. I find that there is something fresh about the fact that your first thoughts, first drafts, will be found on these pages. Its a mark of your progress then. A truth of it. Because you are not likely to throw the pages away, crumples and erased. Thats why I think the habit of writing on a page like this is really positive.

  18. Ok, this is what I like to do when a blank Moleskine page just stares at me. I just take a deep breath, and quickly write the date on the top, then I’ll be inclined to write (or draw) something. It doesn’t have to be the date, it could be anything, you can even put a random mark on it.

  19. Yep, I’ve never found a way to describe and explain just why I hate notebooks (and especially moleskines), but you did it perfectly.

  20. Thank you for admitting to (and, um, defining…) Moleskine Anxiety…I thought I was the only one who had it. I love them, but can’t bring myself to use one up before I buy two or three more. Like you said, it’s hard to start using them at all, even! Ahhh. I feel better now that I know I’m not alone.

  21. Pingback: 5 Awesome Notebooks and Journals for Writers [Word Love] | Word Zeal

  22. Think of it this way: One day when you’re a dead world-renowned novelist that shaped an era, they’ll find that jumbled moleskine and amongst the plot bunnies and crude doodles they’ll find the sentence or synopsis or scribble that was the start of your best seller.

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