They say that every journey begins with a single step. This is true. Unless you own a car.
You are starting a long journey of self-discovery, one that could one day lead you to the heady heights of a room above a pub in Islington, where hostile strangers will stare at you, and sigh audibly over your punchlines. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. And the last day of the first bit of your life. And the middle day of a section of your life that surrounds this bit.
Your first task is simple: go shopping. Go and buy a notebook and a pen.
Once you have bought them, keep them with you at all times. The style doesn’t matter. Whether you go for a leather-bound Moleskine and a Mont Blanc or a ring-bound pad with a biro is entirely up to you, but, from now on, you must have them to hand whenever anything strikes you as interesting or amusing.
When you’re at work, having them sitting next to you, at home have them next to you. When you go to bed leave them within reach. Take them with you to the loo. Whilst in the loo you might produce some great stuff. You could also write some jokes.
Write down anything that occurs to you as you think of it. Don’t try and remember it later: the best jokes have a habit of disappearing when you try to remember them. At least, that’s what I say happened to mine…
Give your notebook a name. Like ‘Janice’. Learn to love it, hate it, to take it everywhere with you. Use it as a filter to catch the nuggets of interesting stuff that are whizzing through your brain. Have an affair with it No, don’t have an affair with it, because that could end messily and the one thing you don’t want to lose is Janice.
This is the first step on your journey, and, thankfully, it just involves a trip to Rymans (other stationers are available).
Dare to be a hero, Nick. Go and buy a pocket-sized notebook.