stories, writing



I picked up a small notebook the last time I was out shopping. I was getting lined paper for Joy (who for some reason much prefers her drawings to be on lined paper instead of blank, and had run out), saw the notebooks, and on impulse picked one up for myself.

I have drifted, in the last few years, to being almost entirely a computer-writer. I have my journal, and journals of letters I write to my girls, but for anything else – stories, plots, poems, menus, shopping lists, study notes etc – I do it on my computer.

I got burnt out by social media last week. I had already been slowly coming to realize that once again, I was getting sucked into spending way too much time on the internet, and then with all the crazy happenings of last week, that time doubled.

When I found myself foaming at the mouth and wanting to unfriend and unfollow EVERYBODY IN THE WHOLE WORLD I knew it was time to take a step back.

I also knew my weaknesses. Unless I am in the throes of a story, if I’m just on the computer to jot something down – a story element, my menu plan for the week, my to-do list for the day – I find myself checking out social media without even thinking about it.

So I pulled out the new notebook, thinking it was a stroke of genius on my part to buy it, even before everything happened.

The first thing to go in it was a to-do list, none of which got done. But it made me feel better to have it written down by my own hand.

Then it was some notes for the study on Philippians I’m doing with some friends. Then it was the above picture, various story elements from my novel, trying to put them together to send some coherent ideas to my cover designer (also trying to figure out a title, which is still giving me fits, because every one I think up comes oh so close but there’s just something not quite perfect about it, and now my brain is so fried it can’t think of anything new. I loathe titles. Why can’t I just label my books Book 1, Book 2, Short Story 5, Different Genre Book 8, etc? It would be so much easier.). Then I started jotting down the outline for my next Sophie short story, which is starting to get completely away from me and needs reining in.

Oh yes, and a list of sewing projects I need to complete for the girls’ spring/summer wardrobes.

All this, and I didn’t need to open my computer, and expose myself to the temptation of The Internet once.

I see some more notebooks in my near future. This one is already filling up rapidly.

12 thoughts on “Notebooks”

  1. Every book I’ve written gets its own notebook. Weird, really since I write on the computer and keep all my novel notes on the computer. But when I get stuck on something or get an idea that’s not quite ready to write, it goes in the notebook. For some reason, it’s much more freeing.

  2. That notebook looks just like mine! And yeah, I might have to deactive my FB account again, too. Except last time I did it, a friend of mine had her baby (six weeks early), and I missed the info! Agh! But maybe I just need to do it anyway. For the very reason you’re describing.

    1. FB needs to come up with a way for one to put one’s account on “standby” for a certain amount of time, so that instead of deactivating, you can just put it on hold for a time.

      Though that still wouldn’t help with the missing important news part!

      1. No, it wouldn’t help with missing news, but it would be great if you could just put up a status message saying “I’ll be back soon, meanwhile, if you need to reach me, here’s my email” or something like that. Ah well.

        I hope you’re enjoying your old-fashioned pen-and-ink life. I’ve got a couple of composition books sitting around; one day I might try my hand at actually writing a story longhand. Haven’t done that since elementary school…

  3. I love notebooks. That’s all I really have to say. I like to walk down the office supply aisle in the grocery store just to gaze longingly at all the notebooks and pens and such all hanging neatly in rows there.

    I pretty much always have to draft things longhand. Sometimes I have to do it on funny-sized paper– smaller or bigger or unlined or something– just to get it out properly. I sometimes compose blog posts on the computer– the short or simple ones– but even those I often draft on paper first.

    1. I tend to lose notebooks a lot. So I stopped keeping important things, like story drafts in them, for fear that I’d lose inspiration to work on that particular story if I first had to hunt through a dozen boxes to find the draft. Much easier to find it in my documents on the computer.

      Of course, that does mean I’ve also lost the fun of forgetting about a story idea entirely until, months or even years later, I find that notebook and start browsing through it!

  4. I need to use my notebook more and my computer less, too. For all the same reasons (instead of unfriending/unfollowing I have fits where I my finger hovers over the “account delete” button).

    I’m sure the right title will reveal itself eventually – probably at 2 am or some other unrespectable time after it’s kept you awake for a long spiteful time first!

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