When Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears goes out in public, they’re assaulted by the paparazzi. Cameras clicking, flashing, recording every single detail, every blink, every breath. Those paparazzi, those photographers–they miss nothing. Why is that? It’s because of their camera. Their camera is the heart of their craft. Without it, a photographer is just a person, just a tourist, just a dreamer. Just as a painter without a paintbrush is just a person with an idea and a blank canvas.
Writers without a notebook are just people with ideas, just dreamers, just someone with a blank canvas in front of them. Every writer should have a notebook. I’m not talking about laptops either. All writers should have at least one paper notebook and one really great pen or pencil. Or more if you’re so inclined. (I have at least two storage totes full of blank notebooks–spiral, composition, handcrafted, specialty notebooks–you name the kind and I have it. I also have a crazy amount of pens, but that’s another post entirely.).
Every writer should know the value of a writer’s notebook. Every writer should have a writer’s notebook. This is not opinionated advice, it’s not a tip or a trick–it’s a necessity. Your writer’s notebook is your gateway to your thoughts. It’s the paper of your soul.
For those participating in NaNoWriMo, the writer’s notebook is almost a requirement. They are the life jackets in that month-long turbulent sea of words. Anchor those thoughts and ideas down, sketch out those characters, build those worlds.
If you don’t have a writer’s notebook, get one. Any notebook will do, of course, but it should be something that inspires you to write. Moleskine notebooks are a great choice, the preferred choice of some literary greats, and are easy to carry. Composition books work great, as do spiral notebooks. Hardback journals and diaries are great, but are usually hardy to carry around with ease.
For years now, I’ve carried around a composition book with a modified cover that I call BOBI (/ˈbō/ bee) – Book Of Big Ideas. In it, I have story ideas, character names, descriptions of things, questions, favorite words, possible titles, favorite movie lines, names of cities and countries, quotes, themes, every kind of magical creature I can think of, links to news stories that have sparked my interest, websites that I like that I think are relevant–I pretty much put anything in there that could possibly relate to a story in any way, shape, or form. I’ve even sat at restaurants or in grocery store parking lots writing down mannerisms, snippets of conversation, or describing the clothing someone’s wearing. It’s a rare occasion that I go somewhere without my BOBI. I’ve had it long enough that it bends and can fit in my purse or back pocket.
Here are a few great places to get customized writer’s notebooks or journals:
If none of those strike your fancy, you can always customize one yourself. Whatever your choice, use it often. You might feel a bit overwhelmed at first, unsure of what to write, but as you do it more and more, you’ll find that everything has the potential to go in your writer’s notebook.
As always, Happy Muse Monday!