Saw this quote by Seth Godin and my hair caught on fire: "Here's the thing: The book that will most change your life is the book you write."
He's onto something. My thoughts immediately ran to the rows of journals I have made and filled over the past three years. I am certain that the act of filling these books has impacted my life in hundreds of ways.
I have been continually refining my system for making matching-sized books since 2013. (Let's call that Year Zero)
It doesn't take me long, I can begin and finish a book in the same day . . . even making the bookcloth, if I start with that first thing in the morning.
Bob Burridge, in speaking about preparing his painting surfaces, says, "I like to get my DNA all over it!" (This he says with vigor as he scrubs some gesso onto watercolor paper.)
With each new book, a unique character develops. The covers vary from each book to the next, but the structure remains the same. They look a little odd, side by side on the shelves with their black lassos encircling most of them. Like a snapshot of long-haired girls at poolside, hair rubberbands on their wrists.
As each book is ready to use, I jot down a little calendar on one of the front pages, a list of often-searched-for words. I put an "If found please return to..." note somewhere near the front, and . . . potential awaits.
I write anything and everything. I draw and doodle, make lists and take telephone messages. There is no index, although I've seen this great Japanese indexing technique that I've fiddled with a time or two.
I used to say that someday I will mine these books and see what I can develop from their content. But I find I've already begun. My calling cards have quotes, comments, bits and pieces on the reverse side, gleaned from within some of my recent books.
I expect some of the people who start making their own books will find the same delight, catching the idea "permission granted" for wherever they want to go and whatever they want to put in their books.