No, I’m not talking about the movie. I’ll allow a few seconds for your disappointment to wear off. Ready? Okay, let’s move on…
‘The Notebook’ is what I call my writing journal. But I don’t like to refer to it as a ‘journal’. That word sounds too organized for what my notebook actually is. I can’t say ‘collection’ either, though that is much more accurate, since my notebook surely is a collection – of sorts, but it’s not just a collection. It’s where I jot down my writing ideas, which come from my crazy dreams 99% of the time. It’s usually next to the bed so I can roll over half-conscious and badly spell out what I can remember of the torment my brain just put me through. It doesn’t stay in the bedroom all the time though. It travels. When I know I’ll be sitting in the car for an hour during my daughter’s Tumbling class, I usually take The Notebook with me. You know, for company and light reading. I also try to jam it in my purse when I go somewhere alone like the beach, but I almost always end up ignoring it…since a spiral-wrapped block of papers is way less inspiring than the Pacific Ocean.
When I’m feeling particularly good about something I wrote down in a partial coma-state, I’ll take The Notebook to the computer and transfer my notes into a document. This is actually pretty entertaining. YOU try writing multiple pages in the dark with the first thing you grabbed (crayon, pen or eyeliner pencil – whatever works) while your eyes fight for proper forward alignment as quickly as you can because it’s fading fast – the dream won’t last in your memory for long. It’s not the spelling errors that make me laugh, it’s the fact that I usually don’t remember ANYTHING that I wrote when I read it the next day. Unless it’s a dream I’ve had several times before. Ask my husband. I’ve read him some stuff from The Notebook before; he knows it’s a funky collection. But I don’t care what OTHERS think of my collection. The Notebook is one of my most prized possessions and I’d probably die if I lost it. No joke. I love it so much in fact, that I have two. Yep, two. One for notes and now one for organizing my notes (pictured above in all it’s glory, sticky notes and all). Soon, I’ll need a third.
So, why am I sharing this with you? Because I was shocked recently to discover this isn’t something ALL writers do. And I don’t know why! I live a busy life…two young kids at home 24/7 that I homeschool and try to keep alive. Animals that act like…well – animals. A large house that never seems to be clean or presentable. Weeds in the front lawn that are blooming. Blooming. Family…friends…you know – life. All writer’s have a life outside of writing (you can gasp in shock…it’s okay) so how could anyone possibly know what to write about or organize their thoughts without their own notebook?! I haven’t been a bona-fide writer long enough to be able to dish out advice like dessert…but I can say this: If you don’t have a notebook – get one! Write all your ideas in it as you have them and take it with you when you know you’ll have down time! Leave it by the bed at night so when you wake up after having that nightmare or sexy dream and you don’t want to forget it – you have a place to immortalize it forever…in print! Yes, I’m yelling! Because you should do this! Especially if you are a relatively new writer with obligations that go further than just making sure you call your mom once a week!
And unless you want to spend hours, if not days, attempting to read your middle-of-the-night scribble…please, leave a pencil or two dozen in your nightstand. You will thank me for this later. Crayons melt. Eyeliner smears. Pens run out of ink. And lipstick – well, just don’t do this.