The Writers Notebook

When I attended the first lesson of a local Creative Writing Class (run by Philip Kane) he told us to create a Writers Notebook. Looking back, it was the best piece of advice I’ve had over the course of the last 15 months. Since then I have managed to fill 8 notepads…..the medium Moleskin size.

When I started the OCA course, they advised the same, but also suggested I have a “commonplace” book. A book to contain all the visual material that catches your eye. Hmmmm, now call me a rebel, but I decided to ignore that and just use the one book for everything, which is what I do 🙂

My notebook and I are inseparable 😉 It’s the equivalent of an artists sketchbook, a place to store ideas, observations, practice skills, jot down information, review books and films, and keep cuttings that interest me. I also have a folder for larger cuttings that won’t fit in the book. I use it to make notes on my course, words and ideas that I need to research, examples of writing that I love (inc poetry and inspirational quotes) and writing prompts should writers block ever strike, which, I have to say, it never has lol…..sorry, but it hasn’t, and I put that down to my notebooks. Not a day goes by that I don’t write something in it 🙂

As I said before, I’m a visual person as well as a word person, so I was thrilled when I read Lesley Thomson’s A Kind Of Vanishing, to see that in the back of the book was a whole section where Lesley explained her inspiration and the connection between her writing and her photography. I take a lot of pictures and it suddenly dawned on me that I could use my own pictures to inspire stories and characters. So now, I do that too 🙂

I use art to inspire title ideas and have at least 2 lists of character names in each notepad. Even when I’m watching TV I’m taking notes….. The Jeremy Kyle Show has suddenly become very interesting 😉