This is the first notebook I remember owning. (It inspired the cover and a lot of the content for my book My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up.)
I was given the book when I was seven or eight years-old. It was a templated notebook where you filled in the answers. Even at that age, there was something satisfying about trying to understand the world using the written word. I would download ideas and wrestle with the big questions like ‘Who will I marry?’ (below). That response underwent a few drafts.
Interestingly, and I only realised this a moment ago, I predicted that I would get married at age 20 and have two children. And I did. And I do. Their names, however, are not the forecasted ‘Jimmy’ or ‘Anastasia’.
The page above inspired Tom Weekly’s list of girls he likes most in his class. (Illustration & My Life book cover by Gus Gordon.)
Kids need notebooks. Some kids do. My life is littered with notebooks, most of which will never be read again. The process of laying the words down is enough. Writing in a blank notebook is the purest thing I know. From the gut, no audience and a plot that is truer to life than any story.