The Weight of Ink

It always feels strange to fill in the last line of a notebook. On one hand, I’m glad to be finished with each notebook so I can move on to the next one in my huge stack of blanks, but on the other hand, I’m sad, but not because the contents of the notebook chronicled the greatest time in my life or anything like that. It have more to do with the fact that I won’t be carrying that particular notebook around anymore. I’m not going to put anything else in the handy little pocket at the front, and I’m not going to stick any more random stickers to the front or the back. Instead, I’m going to look at its contents about once a year or so, when I feel like I need to remember something that happened between August 26, 2015, and January 6, 2016.

Then I always think about the weight of ink. How much does a journal weigh when it is blank? How much does it weigh once it is all filled in? The notebook feels heavier now that I’ve finished it, or maybe that’s just my imagination. It must certainly be heavier, but it can’t be by such a noticeable amount. It can’t even be figuratively heavier because of all the “experiences” I’ve jotted down. Most of it is random musings and stuff that is funny to me but a non sequitur to anyone else… but how can you measure the weight or value of a thought or an idea? Someone’s stupid, farfetched idea might be someone else’s key to solving one of the world’s problems, and the greatest idea for a book or a play could be completely worthless in the head of the wrong writer. But all those abstract thoughts and ideas weigh just the same on paper.

4 thoughts on “The Weight of Ink

  1. I have so few notebooks that are actually filled. Most of them are only half-full, and even then are used for scattered, disjointed ideas or story pieces. I don’t think I have one single notebook that has only been used for one purpose. Even when I buy a notebook with the intent of keeping it for a purpose, it never ends up that way.


    1. It bugs me to have unfinished notebooks lying around. Right now I have a couple, and I’m trying to think of what to write in them.


  2. I don’t use notebooks for story ideas and things like that anymore. The main thing I use notebooks for is things I need to do and the info I need to do them.

    The day my mother died, I went out and bought a new notebook (with a nice green cover), because I knew there would be a lot of things I’d need to do and organize, and lots of information I’d need to have easily available.

    She would have approved. We were always a very office-supplies-oriented family. 🙂


    1. I just use mine as a kind of brain dump. Everything goes in there — story ideas, stuff that’s happening in real life, stuff that happened in dreams, random doodles — literally everything and anything.


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