"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." -Vladimir Nobokov

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Series: From a Writer's Notebook

I have always been an observer of things. I suppose it's a quality found in most writers, but I think it is one of our most important tools. It is where we get our ideas. It where we learn what truth is, so that we can better inject truth into our writing. Of course we can't keep all the things we observe in our heads all the time, so we write them down. I was given my first Moleskine notebook for Christmas, and it has been a valuable tool for capturing the little gems of inspiration that the universe throws at me. Often, when I don't have my notebook with me for whatever reason, I feel a little helpless and I find myself searching for any scraps of paper and writing utensils I can find, just in case I need to write something down. In this way, my writer's brain is always tuned in to the things around me, even when my regular self may be trying to stay awake in math class.

I am fascinated by the things that make my writer's brain tick. That's why I am introducing a new series of posts to my blog. In these posts I will share some of the things I found interesting enough to write down in my notebook, and examine why these things in particular caught my attention. Some other things these posts might cover are:

  • How to be more observant
  • Less traditional ways of filling up your notebooks
  • When to write a lot and when to simply jot down a few words
  • What to do if someone notices you writing down what they're saying
  • Etc!
Anyway, I hope you will enjoy the new series, and as always, feel free to share pieces from your own writer's notebook in the comments! 


  1. Notebooks are wonderful things. I'm not sure there's a time in a day when I'm not within 10 feet of a notebook. It's much tidier than scraps of paper, which I'm guilty of using in a pinch. I used to be a billing analyst, and I drove my wife crazy because as ideas came to me during the day, I scrawled them on adding machine tape. It was great because I could write as much as I needed, and when done, tear it off. The problem? All the scraps of adding machine notes that piled up on my desk!

    I'm fortunate to be friends with quite a few artists, and I love seeing their sketchbooks more than finished art in some ways. While the notebooks I fill aren't as exciting to look at, I love hearing about how other writers use notebooks, so I look forward to your series.

    1. Haha, writing on adding machine tape sounds fun, besides the obvious downside (who needs MORE miscellaneous scraps of paper in their life. Really.) It would be cool to make a sort of scrapbook out of them, so that you'd always have a binder full of inspiration to come back to. I love looking at artists sketchbooks, too. It's fascinating to see the seeds of a later work in some of their sketches. Thanks for the comment!

  2. This is so exciting! I want to hear about every one of those topics! Actually, some of the seniors at my school just put up their senior show, and in every senior show, near the entrance to the gallery, there are small stands by the wall with artist statements tacked to the wall above the stands. Each stand is personalized by a senior with personal items or trinkets or things that they like. Also on the stand is a notebook and some type of writing utensil, and sometimes stamps or stickers. Visitors to the gallery can write in each artist's notebook so that the artist gets feedback from everyone at the end of the show. I think it's really fun for both the visitors and the artists! :D

    1. That sounds so cool! You mentioned visitors...Does that mean I can attend when you become a senior? I would love seeing what everyone's trinkets would be! I would write in everyone's notebook and be the mysterious person who everyone puzzles over when they compare notes. Hehe..

    2. Yes, you can! Actually I think there is a reception somewhere not at school, and before that(or after?) there is a gallery opening after school, and that's usually when family and friends come. Yay! Yes, that would be fun!