Sketchbooks always made me nervous. Partially because I had poor drawing skills and the act of drawing "just things" was a reflection of my lack of visual accuracy when I was required to "draw what you see." I started keeping sketchbooks after I graduated from art school, and only then realized my visual musing, on my own time, nudged me into recording "things" I found interesting to draw. Choosing your subject matter, materials and compositional criteria becomes a personal endearment, and once established...your "point of view" clarifies. It belongs to you. I was told, once you've committed yourself to the fundamental discipline of "drawing what you see," one will capture the abilities to draw what is "not there, in the eyes of others." This is true. Somewhat mystical, always personal. A portal into your own world.
Sketchbooks become an autobiography of ones placement in time, a vessel within to draw something good or bad in a hundred different ways, an aerobic exercise for the hands, your eyes and brain. Sketchbooks bring forth questions about yourself. Where did that come from? Is this little drawing any good? Is it Art? Sketchbooks still make me a little nervous.