BLOG: Notebooks and Ideas.

I love a good notebook.

I’m sure many of you feel the same way, but I can honestly say I don’t know where this harmless little fetish comes from. I prefer something hard backed with squared and creamy paper, two book mark tassels and usually black or brown. Doesn’t it just make you shiver in delight. I have dozens of notebooks, a lot of different shapes and varieties. I’ve tried a lot of different stuff to find out what I like and what works best for me.

I could easily transition to writing cheap erotica if I just channel notebooks. There is something soothing about using pen and paper over a computer, for me at least. I find the ideas flow easier, a written conscious stream. I will fill page after page, fleshing out an idea, following the thread, only to scrap the idea. Those are not wasted pages however. I’d rather have those pages as reference than tapping the backspace button every time I write something I decide I don’t like.

So I collect notebooks. I hoard notebooks and I use them for specific tasks. That’s a writing notebook, that’s a D&D notebook, that’s my pocket one, a journal. That one is for a specific idea, no, not that idea, the other one. The stack over there are full and used, like treasure troves filled to bursting. I don’t know why I find it easier to generate ideas on paper, I just do. It can be almost therapeutic, putting pen to page and watching the ink eat up line after line.

Lately I find if I have just one notebook for general use I become distracted very easily. All the ideas go into the same place so it is very easy to start to stray from the work in progress. I don’t think I’m alone in this, chasing the new shiny idea when I know I should finish what I’ve started. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it feels like a slog to get through your writing time. Sometimes it feels like work. It is work, you have to work at it, but those new ideas can just be too tempting.

To that end I have purchased smaller (less fancy) notebooks, one idea per notebook. If a new idea comes along, instead of ignoring it I give it thirty minutes of attention. Thirty minutes to broaden and flesh it out into a coherent thought or story idea. Then when the time is up, if it wont fit with the current work in progress, it goes to one side with the others. I find this helps me greatly to both keep on track without feeling like I’m letting ideas slip away, and at the end if it I have a stack of ideas to browse for the next project.

Let me know your preferred method of generation ideas, do you use a notebook at all?

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