For me, the notebook is the heart of the writer’s practice.
I use iPhones to capture Notes and Voice Memos. I use Story Scrapbook app to gather images, video, music, maps etc. I write a lot on a laptop. I have written a book via email with a friend in another country. I listen to drafts using text-to-speech. I like to use lots of other media and platforms to create, visualise and share stories.
But the handwritten notebook is still the thing.
I have piles of notebooks around the house. Dozens of them from years of writing Morning Pages and Anything Goes pages filled with fresh story ideas and raves on things I’m elated about, frustrated with, inspired by or unable to grasp.
Filling notebooks is my way of understanding the world. It’s a compulsion. I wrote in them long before I considered myself to be ‘a writer’ and I imagine I will still be scrawling madly on my deathbed.
The notebook is a place where you can write messy, make mistakes, discover the unexpected, adopt Beginner’s Mind and say things you would never say aloud. It is a place where time disappears and impulse is alive and there are no rules and the further you get off-topic the more interesting it becomes. The notebook is the most truly creative place I know.
The Writer’s Notebook is a new series on my blog. Each week I will share an excerpt from one of my notebooks or invite another author or illustrator to open up their notebook for us to look inside. There will also be a suggested writing exercise that might inspire you to get scribbling, too.
The notebook is the place where ideas are born and the writer’s own, honest way of laying words onto the page is developed, without a screen or keyboard diluting the initial intention.
I hope it’s an interesting blog series.