Starting back in college I have kept a series of notebooks, filling each one with journals, ideas, poetry, short stories, notes, To-Do lists, etc. When I finish a notebook, I store it away, and then I start another. It's a good way to keep myself remembering that the act of writing has always been a joyful one—it doesn't have to be this serious act every time I sit down at my computer. I keep my notebook with me at all times, and as soon as it's done, I feel a sense of accomplishment and growth. I've filled another chapter of my life.
I started this notebook back in early September, 2014, and as of tonight have filled its last pages. Here are some of my favorite entries:
I write this for my people,
all the ones who doubted first.
Every voice inside my head
wants his own verse, his own verse.
To be heard is to be loved
and to be loved is to experience—
send to me a flower
for this garden I've been burdened with.
Burdened with, says my distinct abandoned self.
Ask any other part of me and this garden is my health.
Never do I seek help—
a warrior is my conscience.
Always am I in hell—
one part victim with this nonsense.
Eat lozenges honestly when my 5th chakra burns.
If ever forced to choose something to lose I think my throat would hurt the worst.
Not just a boy in this fear,
it creeps up, up to my ears,
whispers, "You're not enough,"
fingers on keys typing Dear.
To all the friends that I've made on this road
and even friends that I've lost,
to all the flowers that bloomed in my bed
and storms that I've watched,
know that I spill all my pain and my sorrows—
because our memories together
taught me the most important lessons.
I give all that I have here.
The door opens.
Collaborative drawing between me and two friends while at Soho House Chicago.
I saw somewhere online J.K Rowling's story map process and decided to try it for a section of my book, Confessions of a Teenage Gamer. It worked well in the sense that it kept the story moving, but all in all it ended up making things feel a bit too mechanical. I ended up scrapping those chapters.
Will it depend on me
to instill a routine
that carves canyons in me
as water does to red rock?
Or is my challenge now
to abandon routine
and instead of becoming the red rock,
the free-flowing river.
A day in the life: To-Do list.
—The Work Environment—
I suppose I could read here,
but in the office I am a different Cole
than the Cole at his desk,
much different than the Cole at the gym
or the Cole that goes home
or the Cole with a beautiful girl laying naked in my arms—
I can't be all Coles at once.
Doing this keeps me present
and my personalities in order.
I found this awesome article a while back about how society's greatest minds—Beethoven, Ben Franklin, Darwin, etc.—spent their time, so I took a hard look at how I spent mine and tried to find places where I could be more productive.
Time to start a new notebook...