Mario Villalobos

Digital Notebooks

  • Notes

“We are all digital notebooks now,” Warren Ellis wrote. “Writing just for ourselves and whoever finds their way to our caves to look over our shoulders as we scribble thoughts down in public and daub pictures on the walls.”

I’ve stopped publishing notes and journal entries on my blog because I’ve mostly been writing in my notebooks now. I’ve been writing for at least an hour every day since the start of last year, a span of about 636 days. I’ve written hundreds and hundreds of pages in my notebooks, and when I couple that with the time spent trying to live my life as best as I can, I’ve simply stopped making time for this online space of mine. I feel kinda meh about it, honestly. The only reason I’m writing this entry is because I want to publish something at least once a month, keeping some trivial streak of mine alive.

Warren was writing about something he calls a “social media winter,” this idea that “social media doesn’t create ‘growth’ any more.” “If you use social [media] to keep up with your friends,” Warren wrote, “then get them to move to new channels with you and keep them close.” Facebook, Instagram, and especially Snapchat have been daily companions to me for the past year, and I have enjoyed myself tremendously on them because my friends are on there. Contrary to my past feelings on them, my time on social media this year has been nothing but positive. They’re not without their problems, but what doesn’t have problems nowadays? So again, couple this with my time spent in my notebooks and living my life, and I’ve frankly lost most of my motivation to tend to this little digital notebook of mine.

And yet…

I like having an online presence. I like having my own little digital garden with my name on it and my words and my photos and my everything on it. Even now, as I’m writing this, I’m feeling those old feelings of pleasure and contentment and even calmness that comes with writing something for myself and for the 2 people who have added this site to their RSS readers. I read Warren’s post on the day he published it, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. This idea was planted then and has been growing throughout the week, and sure, I probably could’ve explored it some more in my notebook, but he’s talking about the web, about blogging more specifically, and I feel like my response to it should be on the web, too.

I’ve gone through spurts of intense productivity and long stretches of silence, and I’m not sure where I fall on that spectrum now. I have ideas and desires and plans for this digital notebook of mine, but I don’t know what will come of it. Life has been incredibly fun and challenging this year, and I’ve enjoyed writing about it in my notebooks and talking about it with the people I care about the most, so I’m not quite sure how to fit this place into my life right now. This could be the start of something fun and cool, or it could simply be the ravings of a madman. Not sure yet.

I guess we’ll find out, right?