The Book of Nothings

The Book of Nothings

Runa's Oracle ♥

“A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming.”
Madeleine L'Engle

Beyond the Blank Page

When you keep a journal or try to record ideas, are you bound by expectation?

  • to write within the lines
  • to spell correctly and use proper grammar
  • to use complete sentences
  • to fill at least 2/3 of the page
  • to journal or free write for AT LEAST 10 minutes
  • to write what you know

I had all of these expectations and more, and honestly these "rules" ( I was a rule follower) just got in my way. Inevitably, I'd end up with blank pages more often than not.

When I’ve kept a planner, I was often intimidated by the blank page, not wanting to take notes on a daily page, because… ”What if I needed another sheet? Where would I put it?” Lord knows I had plenty to say! ☺

Yes, I actually had these thoughts. That awful little voice in my head kept me from really utilizing the planner for all it’s potential. I didn’t want to “mess it up.”

Have you ever felt this way? My suggestion is that you keep a book of nothings.

The Book of Nothings - A Different Way to Journal

Forget the expectation. Ignore the rules. Just record.

Write down your random thoughts. Nothings. Take note of interesting things that you see throughout the day. Tell your book of nothings about an interesting anomaly you’ve noticed.

Do word play. Explore etymologies. Develop characters. Record interesting names of people and places, even imagined ones. Note interesting dialogue you’ve heard, or dialogue you’d like to have.

There are no expectations for the nothings you record, nor for how you record them. Just know that if they are meant to serve you, to become somethings, they will.

Write outside the lines. Use colored pens or pencils if you wish. Draw a picture or doodle if it helps you remember what you were thinking about.

Again… Forget the expectation. Ignore the rules. Just record.

Try to keep your nothings in one place if possible. While I prefer pen and paper, you might be more comfortable with digital devices. (I do like Markor, a markdown app, even better than I like evernote.)

If the “one place” seems too restrictive, try to keep only a few places and then review that one place or those few places periodically. In your review, you just might engage in what Einstein called "combinatory play," where 2 different sources come together that make something greater than the sum of the parts.

I go back through my journals and notebooks and decide that one of my nothings is ready to become something. I also find that some of my nothings are very complimentary and I can then organize them into that something. Other things are just gibberish, and that’s OK, because there was no expectation.It is after all, a nothing, until I decide differently.

Take the pressure off. Forget the expectation. Ignore the rules. Just record.

♥ Runa