Stationery addiction is a particular problem for aspiring writers. By no means restricted to this particular demographic, evidence suggests that this is a rising problem for the Type W personality. And it is time to address this insidious social problem before it reaches epidemic proportions. Hopefully this post will offer you some signs that you may be in need of help.
Note from this blogger: I understand your pain. I too fight this addiction on a daily basis. Once a stationery addict, always a stationery addict. Yes, you can fight the urges, but you will never be truly free of the desire to buy a notebook with each brand new idea. We must learn to live with our desire to highlight and colour-code. Acceptance is key. Take each day as it comes and be willing to keep trying to fight your stationery demons.
Here are 10 signs that you are a stationery addict:
- You have a whole drawer devoted to empty notebooks. These may have begun as a random collection but as your addiction moved a little deeper, you may have chosen a particular notebook of choice. Once chosen, you will have begun to stockpile this particular brand though you may have to compromise on colour and supplier on occasion.
- You find yourself paralysed and unable to work if the colour of your ink or the diameter of the nib on your rollerball is too wide or too fine. This can send you to your nearest dealer desperate for a fix before you can even consider returning to work.
- You can barely see your computer monitor for the plethora of Postits with which it is covered. These Postits form a kind of mental matrix. Without them, you have no idea who you are or where you are anymore. Read about this terrible symptom here.
- One of the categories on your Bookmarks menu is called ‘Stationery Porn’. This list may indeed be one of your most frequented categories and is full of sites from the basic street level stationery suppliers (eg. Staples) through to the more elite, ‘pure’ stuff such as this and this .
- You cannot start a day without writing a To Do list on a special pad with TO DO at the top of each page. Preferably this title should be in a jaunty calligraphic font, or perhaps an antique typewriter font. These fonts are often indicators of a pure supply and are sought out by those in the know.
- When you go onto YouTube, your Recommendations are often overwhelmingly stationery related. Beware also of spending hours watching other addicts show you their planners/ filofax inserts, etc. You may even subscribe to the channels of fellow addicts. You know in your heart that these are your people, your tribe.
- You carry a highlighter with you everywhere in case of colour-coding emergencies. This can be likened to a diabetic carrying insulin, and, for the seasoned addict, can be essential in staving off stationery-related panic attacks.
- When you feel emotionally vulnerable or depressed, your first thought is always to go to your supplier and get a fix. This can sometimes be satisfied with some stickers, or new Postits, but in more serious cases, may manifest in buying labelmakers or new printers. Your supplier often knows you by name. Bad sign.
- You use the above labelmaker more than once a month. The average labelmaker owner has been statistically proven to use their machine only 3-7 times per annum. Addicts have professed to using theirs more frequently – sometimes up to 3 times per week! One woman described in tears how she had even found herself making a label for her label-maker which she had given a whole persona and even taken on holiday with her. ‘June’ (name withheld for privacy reasons) said: “I knew it was bad when I started to make label name tags for my houseplants. I tried to quit but it was just too hard. It was only when I was stopped at customs with my labelmaker, trying to smuggle in some black-market washitape that I realised how bad things had got….” It’s a sad story, but all too common.
- You spend your last $5 on a new washitape. Missing a meal is worth it when you see it nestled into the washitape stable along with your other 20 rolls…
Be aware that THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM.
If you, or any of your loved ones, are showing three or more of the above symptoms then it may be time to get some help. But do not fear, help is at hand.
In the next post, I talk with Professor Melskin Staedtler, an eminent psychologist who has spent her life researching this difficult syndrome. She may have some answers to help you face your addiction and finally find a way through it.
Stay tuned for that one.