Real Talk

Are You a Stationery Addict? The Struggle is Real But it Doesn’t Need to Be

February 8, 2017
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Stationery addiction is real.

Last year, I bought a total of : 18 notebooks. Out of these 18 notebooks, I’ve managed to scribble down my ideas into 6.

On my first trip to Toronto, I easily spent 50 dollars at this Japanese haven called Muji. Mainly notebooks and a collection of pens. That’s all it was.

I’ve come to realize I prefer collecting stationery than actually using it. Is this normal? Upon further investigation, it totally is for a “specialized herd of humans”.

Thanks to Buzzfeed and their handy listicles, they’ve made me alongside other stationery addicts come to terms with the root of our addiction : aesthetics.

The colors, contours, shapes and empty blank pages all are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Which is why most of us wind up filling our Instagram feed, flat-lay style with our recent splurges.

The big question remains:

Aside from the aesthetics, why are we so drawn to them? Do they really incite creativity in us?

stationery addict flatlay

Possible reason #1 : We’re drawn to the idea of it helping us get our sh*t together

Our minds want to write but we get sidetracked by distractions. I can’t speak for every stationery addict out there, but I know my intention all along wasn’t to have them lying around on my desk and collecting dust.

Sure, the aesthetically pleasing ( yet cliche) marble cover might catch your eye, but it’s the intent to fill the pages with ideas, musings and goals that leads you to the checkout page.

Next thing you know, you’re purchasing more than 5 pretty notebooks at a time.

Possible reason #2 : We’re seeking inspiration and creativity (in all the wrong places)

Whenever you stumble on a social media agency, blogger, life coach on Instagram, what’s one of the primary themes you notice? M is for..


From their carefully curated workspace to their gold rimmed notebooks, motivational words and pastel colors are EVERYWHERE.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for positivity embellished in pretty notebooks. Yet, I know it’s all part of an “image” to basically appear like you have your sh*t together.

After doing a quick google search on “stationery addiction”, I stumbled on a recovering stationery addict (true story) who shared some valuable insights.

One which resonates the most is a quote from author Fiona Scott Norman who puts it nicely :

The more expensive, precious and important a notepad is, the less likely anything of note is going to ferment or foment between its pages.

The stories of great creative minds writing their groundbreaking, best-selling works always run along the lines of:

“I wrote it on table napkins in between my waitressing shifts” or “he bangs out all his novels on a proxy old typewriter”.

On a scale of 1- 10, how accurate is this ?

In my case, a 9. I still remember the scribbled out notes I would write on a brown napkin at a bar back in my freelance writer days. In the end :

“The gorgeous journal, frankly, is the creative equivalent of the cross trainer ordered at midnight from the home shopping channel. It will end up in the spare room taunting you for your lack of discipline”.

Once you buy one, you can’t stop. I’m sure you can experience all the feels on the first day after you receive your high from your shiny new notebook, but after a week, it wears off.

Next thing you know you need to buy “one” more to replicate that sense of novelty and inspiration.

With every new purchase, it drives another one in the shopping cart, thus creating the vicious cycle of stationary addiction.

You can go on ahead and buy that 25 dollar marble notebook at Chapters, but chances are it won’t fuel your creativity.

Reason being? Curiosity is what cultivates creativity, NOT fancy notebooks and pens .

I’m a struggling addict myself. Coming to the realization that having an array of them won’t serve much purpose (aside from great flat lays) has been a breath of fresh air.

Bottom Line:

Focus on having a neat work space, with ample writing room and a few pretty accessories around you .

Those fancy notebooks with big bold lettering you keep purchasing, won’t spark any creativity in you.

Leave it to your brain for that. Try new things, get curious. Your curiosity is what’ll get the creative juices flowing.

In the end, less is truly more.

Are you a stationery addict? Does it spark creativity in you?

Comment below with your thoughts if the struggle is real for you !

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