Rina Piccolo writes honestly about her sketchbook and how your sketchbook can be
" ... a type of time machine. In place of dials, there are pages. This time machine has boundaries, though: you can only go backward, and not forward in time. The future—your future—is yet to be composed."
You know Rina's work from newspaper comic strips (Tina's Groove, Six Chix) and The New Yorker and she also does books (Fun With Physics). How she has the time to do all of her work AND sketch as well is amazing to me.
The nice thing is that this great professional cartoonist can also relate to the fear of the new sketchbook. The fear of making that first mark in the new beautiful sketchbook:
"So, you sit at your table, or on your couch, and stare at the bare, blank first page, and you decide that it is a job and a half just to stare at the page, let alone make that first mark on it. More staring. If you were a robot, there would be an attempt to try to reboot you. And to carry the robot-thing further, the idea of making a mark on the page makes you feel like a robot unable to fix a target for its much-anticipated first step. What do I write? What should I draw?"
There's more. I really liked to hear all of her opinions on a sketchbook and keeping it. I agree that it's a great record of your life in some ways. Seeing an old drawing that I did in one of my sketchbooks helps me recall the day and what I was feeling then.