Friday, 22 August 2014

A look at my writer's notebooks
Part 2 (Developing as a writer)

A good while back now, I wrote a post about my notebooks. It was intended to be the beginning of a little series of posts but life kinda got in the way of blogging and I never got round to it. But I figure it's not too late to do it now, so here we go, enjoy a peak into some more of my writer's notebooks...

#4:: The notebook that I used between 2006 and 2007 was a bit of a departure from the small spiral bound ones that I'd previously used. This was an A5 hardback notebook that I covered in some left-over Birthday wrapping paper.
 I used this notebook differently. I'd been reading some books about writing and stumbled across the idea of free-writing, letting your mind wander as you scribble words down on the page. I liked to doodle along with my writing and tended to write while listening to music as inspiration.

I think this was the notebook where I began to feel more of a passion for writing. I wrote every day without fail and didn't worry about whether what I wrote was "good" or not. This was where I learnt that writing should be about exploration.

#5:: My next notebook was a skinny one that I filled quickly between May and July of 2007. This was during my phase of covering my notebooks and folders with magazine clippings to add a personal touch.
 A lot of this notebook is filled with snippets of a novel I was trying to write at the time along with musings about characters and settings. I was still doodling alongside my writing and I was still enjoying free-writing and attempting various writing prompts taken from books.

#6:: The notebook I used throughout my final year at University (September 2007 - September 2008) was a thick A5 hardback, covered in magazine clippings. This was probably the favourite of my notebooks from this era. I definitely found my voice here and cast away the fear of experimenting with words. I dug around in vulnerable places and wrote about the dark stuff inside me.
 I was still trying to write the novel I was working on in the previous notebook but I was digging deeper, writing all of the things I'd been afraid to write before.
 I was also still obsessed with doodling and writing outside of the lines.
 And I discovered that I enjoyed cutting images from magazines and using them to kickstart my imagination.

In the last few years of my degree, writing became an addiction for me. I never went anywhere without my notebook and you could find me scribbling away anywhere, any time. If I was out for lunch with a friend and she went to the toilet, she'd return to find my head buried in the blank pages. I'd sit up for hours before going to sleep, jotting down the thoughts that came unbidden to my sleepy mind. And first thing in the morning, I'd be making a note of my dreams in case they held any relevance for whatever I was writing.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this second glimpse at my notebooks. I've always been reluctant to let anybody read my unedited writing but this is different. You're only seeing what I show you and it feels kinda good to share my experiences with writing.

Do any of you carry a notebook around? What kind of things do you write in it?


  1. I've been stuck on a novel for nearly six months, mainly because I don't particularly enjoy sitting down at a Microsoft Word document and typing. I think this might be the answer. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

    1. Glad I helped :) I've always found it easier to get my thoughts out by handwriting than via a computer. I think you get more of a connection with what you're writing when the words are actually coming out of a pen if that makes sense at all?


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