I am a compulsive stationery shopper. I have been all my life.
When I was in junior school, it was stickers; in high school I moved onto notebooks. By university, I was continually buying letter writing sets.
Now? Post-it notes.
In my defence, all of these have had some practical value. I wrote a lot of stories in high school, so notebooks were used when they were bought. At university, my friends had moved far apart, and we delighted in sending handwritten letters over emails. The stickers did not have any practical use, but I was 9, so I feel that is not just excusable, but only right and proper.
The post-it notes, however? So far they only have potential.
I don’t use post-its often. In my current role, I mostly use scrap paper for my notes, destined for the recycling bin. However, whilst doing my MA I bought a single pack of page marker post-its, shaped like cat paws, and I used them for everything. Any page of a book which might be even remotely useful – post-it; keeping track of where my to-do list was in my notebook – post-it; showing where I had made amendments, or had queries in proofs I was checking – post-it, post-it, and another post-it for good luck.
It became clear to me that post-it notes were the way forward should I get a job in publishing, so I began to buy cute sets, and keep them safe for when I was ready to start my new job. Except… I haven’t started it yet. Or even been hired.
So they are sitting, still packaged up, waiting for me to find my publishing role and deploy them appropriately. The way I used to save particularly nice notebooks for the ‘right’ story idea, these post-its are being saved until I can use them somewhere they will be properly appreciated, will actually be used.
People are also starting to gift me lovely things too, like this set of affirmative pencils from my mother-in-law:
Everything is being saved, hoarded preciously. For the right moment.
And perhaps it is working as an incentive to keep applying for jobs, to keep trucking to get to where I want to be. If I get my job, then I can use them. All of them.
I had better get it soon, or we’ll be sleeping on post-it note sets. Because Not Using doesn’t mean Not Buying.