The Book

Sketchbook. Notebook. Journal. Scrapbook. Album. I've never been particularly successful at keeping any of these types of books. They seem so strongly identified with their names that I have never been able to finish one. My own narrow ideas of what they should contain always overwhelmed me before I could get very far. My life is littered with all sorts of sketchbooks, notebooks, journals, scrapbooks and albums, each started with fresh resolve and good intentions, and abandoned in self-conscious frustration just a handful of pages later... 

I needed a new way to approach this problem. 

I bought a hardcover "sketchbook" and cut off its binding. I could now do anything I wanted to any page, at any time, and return it to the book in any order and orientation I chose. My book would not have an up or down, a front or back, or a beginning or end. Ideas are covered up and re-worked, started over and repeated. Pages get taped to each other, cut apart and re-taped. When I run out of pages, I buy another book, cut it up, and add it to my book. Or I find other types of paper and add that. It just keeps growing. 

The result has been completely freeing. 

But how would I prevent this book from being like all the other good-intentioned books I had begun so many times? How could I avoid the pressure of The Finished Product? I don't call my book anything more specific than just that - a book. And it is never finished.

-John Kieltyka