A lot of times people look at the books that I create and like them, which is not just cool, it is thrilling, I have to admit. Then, I see, sort of a puzzled and sometimes embarrassed look on their faces, and then they ask, "What do I put in it?" I have been making books since I was a kid, so it might be very easy to be flippant about this question and say, "What don't you put in it?"
But I don't say that. I honestly don't think that. I know how hard it is to write in a beautiful book. You might feel like you have to use your best handwriting. You might feel like it is just to bare and too blank, and that bareness intimidates you. And there are many more fears.
I bought the book pictured above for Lucy. I blogged about the maker, Katie Gonzalez, awhile back. She uses a type of bookbinding process called coptic stitching. You can read more about her work here.
I would like to share with you what I wrote on the first page of this beautiful book:
Lucy, I think when anyone starts a blank book or journal, it is intimidating. You think things like...what if I make a mistake?, what do I have to say that is so special?, what if I misspell something? These are normal fears. Ones I hope that you will get over as you grow up and start books of your own.Some books that have been really beneficial to me in the process of writing are:
I want to fill this book with all the funny things you say to us, because we forget them so quickly. And if it is one thing your dad and I treasure - it is words. We love to read them, write them and say them. You do too. We can already see such amazing things forming in your head and coming out of your mouth.
My hope is you will learn to use this as a book with me (see...I messed up here...does not matter one bit). When you say something funny or poignant, you will scream, "Where is my book? We have to write it down."
Yes, this is my hope, dear one.
- Leaving A Trace by Alexander Johnson
- The Right To Write by Julia Cameron
- and just about anything by Alexandra Stoddard
There are many more. I spend a great deal of my time reading books about what to write in them. Sounds funny, I know. But it inspires me. To think for one minute that I could create something for you to record your life . . . that is motivation. It sure is.
The finished look of this book