Deliberately Ruin a Page of your New Notebook

I hate new notebooks. They’re too perfect. Especially when the paper is nice.


There’s a sinking anxiety that whatever I may create, it won’t compete with how satisfying a blank piece of paper already is. Rather than seeing a new wad of possibility, all I think about is the likelihood of me falling short of genius, and inevitably spilling some coffee.


After all, our heroes made do with less — and seemingly won the world over.


Here I am, scratching my ass, figuring out how to make my best work yet. Four corners of clean white paper, looking back at me:


“You better get this right”


See, that’s a dangerous game to be in.


The idea of “I need to make this work” is where the paralysis is. Because here’s the deal: we can’t compete with perfection.

What I think we forget, is the work we admire isn’t perfect at all.

It’s often too much or too little. It risks being wrong for some people in order to make an impact for a few. Perhaps it’s even a little dangerous for its time, and it was almost certainly not easy to make.



Over the years, I have come to learn that good work isn’t started by having all the answers. Or even by being clean and calculated.


It’s just a matter of showing up and seeing what happens. Huge heart, and honest intentions. Day by day. A lot of mistakes and mess. Hours of practice, and if we’re really lucky: well…luck.


So when a perfect new notepad threatens my creativity I deliberately ruin a page. Not nice doodles, not a stylized mess. Something really ugly.


It shatters the illusion. One huge intentional fuck up creates space for me to practice without worrying… It gets me out of my head. Perfection doesn’t need to be upheld.


Hey, we can make it look pretty later and everyone will eventually know-how effortlessly cool we are!



Since the day Matt arrived in Bristol after a less-than-comfortable journey on a highland cow, he’s been making ideas. Matt lays ideas like a chicken lays eggs. He actually once got caught for doping on ideas. We’re not sure where he gets so many ideas, we think he might be smuggling them in from the black market. All projects start by dipping matt in a cup of warm water, and taking a sip.

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