I bought a new writing notebook today. It’s pink, black and gold with a vintage, curlicue design. I’m liking black and gold colors lately. I saw a Christmas tree last year bedecked with black and gold ornaments. Once I got past the Nightmare Before Christmas imagery floating past my mind, I found the effect elegant and stunning against the white lighting.
The new notebook has a three-dimensional pattern and if you tilt it back and forth, it makes the pattern visually dance. I think this must’ve appealed to my pupils that were then the size of a Giant Squid’s. I had just had my eyes dilated at the optometrist and was feeling whimsical and sprightly. No fear, kraken!
Rules that guide my writing notebook: none. Only, write what comes to you; write freely.
This lack of rules is tougher for me than an actual list of rules. I view my writer’s notebook as a repository for my thoughts, a bit like Dumbledore’s pensieve. Dumbledore used his wand to wiggle memories out of his crowded cranium and deposited them into the mortar looking like device. As a muggle (no Hogwart’s letter…yet!), I use a pen and scribble on paper. Did that barista at Starbucks say something witty? Jot it down. Was I especially hilarious last night when I stayed up to 2 a.m.? Write down those pearls. Did that old barn I passed spark a novel scene worthy of E.B. White? Hello, Newberry. You’re much shinier in person.
I think of the writer’s notebook as a fishnet, capturing ideas for later perusal and reference. I hoist the net into the water when I spot an especially shiny fish, quickly sketch its appearance and release it back into the wild sea of neurons. Now I know I’ll remember the fish. It may come in handy later and spark another novel idea or help me bridge a chapter gap. But if a fish does get away, as so happens in life, no matter. Remember to write freely; don’t write as a slave in fear.
Any notebook will do, any size, binding or color. Pick something you like and will use. Like many behavior changes, consistency and small steps are best.
Happy writing trails. Don’t mind the worms.