I have never been an organized man. I’ve always been the type to reach for a scrap of paper — and I mean a scrap — and use it to jot down notes when I feel inspired.

And then I lose the paper.

Oh, I’ve tried to reform over the years. Instead of stuffing the note in my pants pocket, where it would get crumpled, I’d neatly fold it and carefully place it in my shirt pocket.

It never worked.

I hate to think about how many great ideas have been lost over the years.

Trying to reform, I turned to small, moleskin books to list all my ideas. But I’ve misplaced them, too.

A friend has been a tremendous influence on me, showing me that being organized clears the way to be creative.

Last month, I bought a briefcase, an old-school leather briefcase.

It’s big, but I am a big man.

I carry it with me all the time.

I sling it over my shoulder when I’m on my motorcycle. It’s been with me in hospital rooms, on the floor while I talk with someone undergoing chemotherapy. It sits beside me when I am having a drink in the bar, talking to a stranger who becomes a friend. It’s there in the quiet moments when I’m listening to music on my headphones.

Already, there are some scrapes and marks on the hide.

At first they bothered me.

Now I look at them and realize the scars tell the story of where the bag has been with me on my journey.

Inside there is plenty of space for my computer and books and magazines. I have pockets for my address book, my moleskin idea book and another book I use to plot out scenes.

I love my briefcase.

I just wish it would do the writing and creating for me.

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