And that’s what I wanted to talk to you about today: about the different functions that a notebook can be given, in addition to the writing itself, and to which we can turn whenever we are hungry for ideas or inspiration.
Nowadays, many of these notebooks can also be carried virtually, although sometimes the physical version is more advisable because direct contact with the paper and the plasticity of the notebook itself can also serve as part of the call to the muses.
But hey, regardless of the physical-virtual debate that everyone prefers, let’s go to what is important and see that list of notebooks:
It is a drawer, but the first of all the notebooks that a writer has to carry is the notebook to write down ideas. The most advisable thing for this newspaper is that it be small and manageable, so that we can always carry it with us (I carry it in my bag and at night I put it on the table). You never know where that fantastic idea can hit us and we already know what happens if you don’t sign up right away.
2. Reading notebook
Another notebook that I have in a drawer on the bedside table is my reading diary, which helps me keep track of the books I am reading. There are many ways to do it and many sections that can be included in it: a summary of the story, style, tone, narrator, characters … You can also add drawings, photos, newspaper clippings, images or anything else you want.
My reading notebook is simpler: I like to write down the title and author, the dates on which I start and finish reading them, the grade I give it and the phrase with which each book begins (this is due to my eagerness of collecting early books, as you know from the Once Upon a Time section)
3. Dream Diary
This is the typical notebook in which in the morning or at dawn we write down what we have dreamed so that later we do not forget. Over time, you can get very good ideas from such a notebook, not to mention how fun it is to reread the crazy things that we have lived in dreams.
4. Appointment notebook
Besides book beginnings, another thing I like to collect is quotes. And I’m not talking about American movie dating dates, don’t get me wrong. I mean quotes from authors and books that I like.
On my bedside table (yes, I suppose you have already noticed that my bedside table is full of notebooks) I have a very small notebook, the kind of moleskine that imitate a book, where I write down any phrase that calls me attention in books, magazines, interviews, articles etc. Getting lost then between the pages of that notebook is something great, and very inspiring.
Today, this type of notebook can also be carried digitally through sites such as Pinterest or Evernote. They are fantastic tools and I recommend using them to save images or news that we come across while browsing and that can stimulate our imagination and our stories in the future. But I also recommend carrying a physical scrapbook.
There is something special about a scrapbook, a mixture of color, shapes, contrasts and smells. Yes, smells too, because newspaper or magazine clippings smell different over time. And cutting out and pasting those news and images that catch our attention in a notebook is also useful to find ideas.
This notebook would be the diary itself, the one of experiences and emotions. But it does not have to be the typical ” Dear diary ” that we write as children, but we can consider it in another way: as a logbook of our writing.
Let me explain: it is about taking note of what we have done each day or each week, if we have written every day, how far we have advanced with the draft of the novel, etc. But above all, it is important to note the emotions that we have felt when doing (or not doing) these things. Over time, it can help us to realize that we always go through the same phases when faced with a creative task. And you already know that knowing yourself is key to improving.
7. Character notebook
The character sheets and the character collection can be used for this notebook. It is about keeping all those characters that suggest something together. When we need ideas, we can turn to them and see if they inspire any stories.
As in any other subject, to write you have to read a lot, and not just fiction. You can also read theory and keep notes on how to write dialogues, descriptions, what an asyndeton is and all those things that we write so much like. You know.
9. Specific notebooks for each story
When we are writing a story, whether we do it on the computer or in another notebook, it is convenient to have in a separate notebook all the previous data about the story so that we can consult them at any time in which a doubt arises: documentation, notes, structure , character files, data …
10. Automatic writing notebook
It is not the same as a notebook where you can write stories. It is a notebook where, every day, automatically by way of liberation of the subconscious, one hundred or two hundred words have to be written. To do this, you can resort to the classic trick of choosing five random words (for example: crime, temple, war, desire, statue) and start writing the first thing that comes to mind using those words. Without thinking. Just writing. Let it flow.
I advise to keep this notebook to follow a specific ritual and always do it at the same time. In addition, it can be accompanied by a whim, such as a chocolate bar, a fruit salad. Something that makes that moment of the day even more special. I assure you that, in this way, not only the imagination is stimulated, but also tensions are released and stress is released. Come on, the best medicine to lift your spirits.
Well, these are all notebooks that I carry or have carried at some point. A few, I know, but they’ve all been helpful to me.
And what do you think? Do you find them useful? Do you use any more notebooks to stimulate your creativity?