A Poet's Tools: The Notebook

To be a good writer, read a lot and write every day.    Neil Gaiman
Write every day even if it is just a paragraph.   Michael Connelly
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.  Stephen King


Today I was rummaging through the garage and found a box labelled 'scrap writing'. Inside was a stack of old journals - spiral bound, stapled, decorated and plain. And yeah - a whole bunch of scrap writing. I'm actually going to toss all of these - but not without acknowledging the huge part they play in my writing.

As the quotes above advise, write every day. And to do this, you'll probably need more than your official writing devices - your laptop or computer. I have an assortment of journals all over the house - by my bed, by my desk, near the big chair in the living room. At any time I can grab one and write random thoughts, or read random thoughts. And because they're close, there's no excuse not to write, even if only for a few moments.

My daughter Yvonne is a great inspiration. At 16 years, she declared she was going to write a novel in November. It actually took her a full year to complete that first novel, but she wrote every day. And 6 years later, she still does. We took a trip to Washington DC a few years back and at the end of every day she took time to write. No matter how tired we were from walking through museums!

Yvonne writes on her laptop but she also carries, at all times, an ongoing journal. It's where she writes, records her life, draws, takes notes at school, pastes flowers and photos and napkins, paints - these journals (and there are many now) are amazing works of art. You can see pages from them on Yvonne's Tumblr and the image at the top of the page is from her masthead.  https://improving-slowly.tumblr.com/

Yvonne and I spend a lot of time in the journal section of books stores. A nice journal, one that fits well in your hands, that isn't too daunting (the really fancy ones put me off a bit - I don't want to ruin them with my scrap writing!), or too expensive - is a treasure to find and extol over.


I love the little 'sets of three' books you can find at Chapters. Yvonne looks for journals and notebooks with blank pages, but because I use my books only for writing, I prefer to have the pages lined. These little sets have nice welcoming covers, are small enough to slip into a handbag, and are not badly priced.https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/paper/journals-notebooks/552810-cat.html


Moleskin Cahier Journal (Set of 3), Pocket, Ruled, Black, Soft Cover can be found on Amazon but it's also often found in art stores like Opus. I love these little books and highly recommend them.http://amzn.to/2qCvX4n

Rhodia is a brand we discovered while in Washington DC. Of course we explored the art and book stores there :). Rhodia quickly became my favourite notebook - not just for writing -  I love the dot pages, or the business tools. But Rhodia also makes a nice writable notebook as well.http://amzn.to/2qzbNdK


Yes, that's right. I found a scrap writing book at dollar stores - they are spiral bound and have cardboard box like hard covers. These work great and are, of course, inexpensive as well. Easier to write scrap into a $2 notebook than a $20 notebook.

Do you have a favourite journal or notebook? Please share !

Your best friend is your journal. Or notebook. Scribbler. Diary.