Notes in Notebooks 2

A small array of my notebooks
The folly of notebooks

Just a small display of notebooks I have in my possession. Some of these were handmade for me; some were gifts and most were covet-buys – including the Collins A5 I am currently using for the first draft of my latest novel.

I have trunk loads. I do ask myself if I ‘need’ another and am sometimes able to answer ‘no’. Peri (see comments to previous post) says it’s covetousness and I have to agree. I also think it’s part of the “intention of writing” or perhaps the “cosmetics of being a writer”. Jeff (response to Notes in Notebooks below) collects scraps of paper and mulch! Is this the ‘John Lennon Method’?

Once, I made the mistake of mixing media. My notepad draft ended on page 284 and picked up again on page 341. What happened to the missing 57 pages? Frantic searching of every notepad, scrap, folder, “please not the shredder”, stacks of loose sheets in the letter tray – nothing. I could remember having written those pages. I could remember the scenes I described. After many wasted hours of “did I leave it on the train?”, I remembered.

I had created a folder for the novel on my computer and wrote those words directly into a file titled ‘Final’ – not 57 pages worth, a mere 1800 words and not the final chapter by a long way.

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  1. I do like the fact that I know more women who look lustfully at Paperblanks than I know women who do the same at Tiffany’s!
    Do you have a similar ‘need’ for pens, or do you tend to just write with whatever you have?

    It’s good to know that you write your first drafts on paper. I used to do the same, but later felt pressured into using the computer from the kick-off… but it isn’t the same. Something about the way the pen connects with the paper seems to get my mind working in a way that button-tapping never could.

    I think I’ll follow your example and go back to pen-and-ink first drafts, and stop letting the ‘industry’ side of writing get in the way of justifying the purchase of more notebooks!

  2. You know me so well! Yes, I do have a ‘need’ for pens. My favorite is my Waterman fountain pen. I like the scratch of the nib on the paper and the flow of the ink. The connection between brain, hand and eye is ancient and I agree that the mind works differently with this process. I am technically-savvy but an ink pen is something special. Even when I have transcribed the work to the computer, I make changes in longhand, on hardcopy.

    Roald Dahl always wrote with pencils. I am using pencils for this new first draft. My reason? I have a drawer full of them and they are consumable items! I am clearing and recycling as much as possible.

    My trusty Waterman has been with me for at least ten years. Before that I used Schaeffer and Parker but the balance didn’t work for me. With a ballpoint or rollerball, the pressure on the paper creates ripples – never with ink, less with pencils.

    I restrict my visits to stationery suppliers, unless I am in a strong-willed mood to resist the temptation to succumb to these addictions. I have set myself a goal to fill every notebook and notepad, use every ink cartridge and pencil before I venture near Paradise again.

  3. You know as well as anyone that I will find a grand excuse. In fact, I’ve been thinking … but I am working on the premise that it can be done. I had considered making a collage photo of all my writing implements but that would take all day to assemble and twice that to return to their various hiding places.

  4. Peri,
    You mentioned that you were driven by the industry side of writing to use the keyboard. Does that mean you’re a ‘professional’ writer? If so, what do you write?