BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Writing Notebooks

I used to carry a stenographer notepad with me wherever I went and I'd make notes for any book or idea that came to mind there. I'd use Post-it flags to color code what story/world the notes belonged to. I'm pretty sure I have every color they make.

This was an okay system. It kept me from having to haul multiple notebooks with me to work, but it was more than a little annoying to try to find something in particular, especially once I reached my third notepad.

Then there was the extra fun of bent flags. I'm not quite OCD, but let's just say I lean that direction and the less-than-perfect flags bugged me. So did the fact that once they were bent, I might not see them too easily and it made it even easier to miss the notes I'd be looking for. The stenographer notepad also didn't protect the pages as well as I needed and after months of hauling it with me, the pages would be bent and banged up, too.

Recently, I tried a new system--one notebook per book or world. These notebooks are also not as easily worn by being carried. One of them is actually bound. I like this one because it's narrow enough to fit in the front pocket of the tote bag I take to work and it has room at the top of each page for me to write the date, the story it's about, and what the notes are about. Like I'd put heroine's GMC or something in that third spot, helping me to find what I was looking for.

I also had a spiral bound notebook that was far beyond the quality kids use in school. This one had nice, thick paper (thick enough that my fountain pen doesn't go through it) and a hard plastic cover that is doing an excellent job keeping my paper in good shape. It's also smaller than a school notebook, which I really like. The only downside is that it won't fit in a tote pocket. :-( Too wide.

I've only been doing this for about a month so far, but I like how it's working. If I have an idea or thought for another project, I just write that on whatever is handy and transfer it into another notebook that I leave at home. This one is also a bound book. I've decided it's worth the extra money to get a harder cover notebook, so I'll continue buying them.

I did try buying a bigger bound notebook, one that's bigger than 8.5x11 because I thought I'd like more room to sketch out character stuff, but as it turned out, it was too big. I couldn't take it with me, I couldn't use it easily while sitting on the couch or chair, and sitting at the table is too boring. (And my dining room chairs aren't that comfortable.) So I have all this cool stuff sketched into the book, just waiting to be filled in and I'm avoiding it. :-) Lesson learned.

I just wish I could come up with a really awesome way to organize my information. I tried listening to a workshop about it, but while they talked about what information would probably be handy to keep, they said nothing about how to organize that info. Seriously, I know what to keep, I just don't know how to organize it for easy access. I know it's personal preference, but give me a hint!

Until I stumble across some heavy-duty organizational details, I'm just going to stick with my notebook habit. It works the best for me right now and there's something about handwriting book details (with my new fountain pen) that gets my brain working in different ways.