Quite some time ago, I blogged about how I had different notebooks for different purposes. I was thinking about this recently and realised that it only applied for a while. Those notebooks have been languishing in a corner ever since.
Partly the “novel notes” notebook fell out of use because I wasn’t working on the novels in it. And then I just didn’t add any of the new projects to it. That was probably because the newer novels were all more blurt in nature and had less world building etc to map out. Until the novella series where I did nut stuff out on paper but I did that in my day-to-day notebook!
Poor fancy notebooks.
The research one does get used still, but because I don’t research much for my novels I usually have to hunt for it. Found it sitting in the craft cupboard the other day and I’m really not sure how long it’s been there.
So, the obvious question is whether I’ve bought more fancy notebooks between that old post and now? Of course I have. Wouldn’t be a notebook addict otherwise! Still, I think I’ve only bought two and one of those has been allocated to “weaving notes”.
I love starting a new notebook (the paper kind). There is something lovely about all those empty white spaces waiting to be filled.
And, yes, I’m sure I’ve said that before. I will probably say it again many times in future!
Can’t say that I have any idea what will end up in the pages of this one… neither of my recently edited novels should make appearances. Oooh. Maybe a short story. Now that would be unusual for me these days…
See how excited I get?
I’ve been chatting with writing friend about why it is often easier to sit with pen and paper, than at a computer. Planning gels (so I’m told!), short stories flow and even the occasional Blurt occurs on paper.
My theory is that paper is more welcoming. It’s a natural product and humans have been making marks on natural materials for a very long time. Typing is quite unnatural and the glow of a screen is hard on the eyes.
The discussion that prompted this post, though, was an exchange of a few different ideas to the above. We discussed the idea that computers have a lot of mental baggage because we do the hard slog of revision on a computer and many of us also do our non-writing day-job on computers.
Another thought was that there is less area of blank paper, though that depends a lot on what type of paper you write on and what type of screen you have attached to your computer.
I know that when I first started writing on a computer – well, with a modern word processor anyway – I found I couldn’t stop myself editing endlessly. So, for me, I think that’s always been the draw of paper for a first draft. It’s going to be rough and pretty much as it came into the world, and that’s a lot less pressure.
So… haven’t been on the bloggy much recently and the “new novel” is to blame. There have been words. A new notebook has been put into service.
All of which is a good thing, even if the blog suffers a little bit.
Some years ago, I developed a taste for doing my handwriting in a specific type of notebook, good for tram/train writing. Then these got hard to find. Then I found a source. Then that stopped stocking them. So this time, when I found a source, I put in an order for ten. That’ll keep me going a while. I hope.
One of the hardest estimation tasks in my life, is working out how long a notebook-stash will last. Why? Well, if I’m editing it might take six months to get through the 400 pages of a notebook, but in those rare Blurt-type situations, I might fill one in a fortnight. Hmm…
Still, I should point out that I’m not someone who must have my ideal notebook and favourite pen before I can write. If, at some point in the future, my preferred notebooks vanish (which they probably will) then I’ll just find an alternative. In fact, I did this with pens.
After having had one pen for a decade, it broke and there was no direct replacement available, so at the end of the required mourning period, I moved on. Now I have a new favourite, which is altogether a different type of pen.
Of course these are my utility tools. I do also have a typical writerly fetish for ornate notebooks and fancy pens. They get used…ahem… occasionally. Usually for recording what’s happening in my gardening, or new recipes.
I broke in a new notebook last week. It was, as always, very enjoyable. Now I can look at all the empty pages and work out what to fill them with!
Not that I can claim to really be writing anything. Just snippets.
After having been editing so solidly this year, I’m not venturing so much into new word territory. Well, I’m avoiding ending up with any more novels really.
I think that by the end of the year I’ll have this draft of sci-fi novel totally where I want it, and the Blurt expanded to a proper draft zero. Plus I might have banged my troublesome short story into better shape – its ending needs a tweak but otherwise it’s done. I’m not going sniff at that for a year’s productivity!