Where's your notebook?


Although I have a tendency to pick up moleskin notebooks and other small journals--I swear, they are on every shelf in my house--I never seem to use them for keeping story notes. Although I haven't bought one in a long time, every time I see these little notebooks stacked neatly in the bookstore, just waiting to be filled with flashes of inspiration, I have to turn away like an alcoholic being offered a turn-of-the-century scotch. (Or wine, whatever you fancy.)

It's like a weird fetish I have: the texture of the paper, running my fingers down the spine of the notebook...you get the idea. I do have one that I bought a few years ago. I made a point of using it and actually filled quite a few pages. I took it to a reading by Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials and a slew of other great books. He even signed it! I asked him for some words of inspiration when the Muse is in one of her moods and is not visiting. This is what he wrote:



"When those moments come, remember that it is our job to write just as well and just as regularly when we're not inspired as when we are."


So how do I keep notes for story ideas without a notebook? I created a private blog and, since I'm at my Mac what seems like eighteen hours a day, it's easy to go over and post the idea, no matter how insignificant it may seem. We all know a seed can bloom into a great idea. If I'm away from the Mac I send a text to myself.

So how about you? Where do you scribble your ideas?


Image Wikimedia commons

7 comments:

Megan said...

I have pieces of paper everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE. There's a stack of loose lined paper next to my desk and whenever I think of an idea I grab a colorful pen and scribble it down.

Of course, about a day later I've lost it... So I think I need a better process...

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

I have notebooks everywhere. I keep a journal. Then I have a purse notebook where I scribble ideas. Then I have other notebooks when I'm trying to be fairly organized in recording my ideas. And then I write a lot of my ideas on my computer and file it into a folder called "Ideas for stories". And then I realized one day - sigh - It will take me decades to follow up on all these ideas! Meanwhile, I just need to finished rewrite of my WIP!

Suma Subramaniam said...

Having a private blog is a nice idea.

I usually keep an idea file and a journal.

Mina Burrows said...

You're not alone. I have this fetish too. Presently, I have so many and sadly, I don't like messing them with my scribbles. I used to, but that's what my computer's & smartphone are for. And now, I have my notebooks collecting dust. In fact a friend of mine recently gave me another one for our weekly brainstorming coffee clutch. Its so nice and I wonder if I actually jot something down this time. (Pathetic, I know.)

Gail Shepherd said...

I'm with you on this one: I have a gorgeous leather notebook that I never use, and I started my blog at least in part to keep track of ideas I'm thinking about. Of course a blog can never be like a journal, because it's public...
And OMG, Philip Pullman actually wrote in your journal?!?

Ron Smith said...

Megan--seems like you need a better system if you're losing those ideas!

Elizabeth--I know what you mean. Gotta stick to one thing at a time!

Suma--I love my private blog. It's a nice repository of ideas. And it's fun, since no one else looks at it.

Mina--you're right. Why would I want to mess up this nice notebook with my bad handwriting, lol.

Gail--the Philip Pullman reading was at the Chicago Public Library and it was fantastic. He seems like a truly nice man.

MISH said...

I recently bought an A4 hardcover in which to stick odds-and-ends, pictures, newspaper cuttings/headlines, quotes, and other inspirational thingiemaggies.
... and the post-it notes always come in handy!