Jot It Down

Monday, September 24, 2012
by Lynne Garner

When I started to write professionally, I was writing for a craft magazine once a month. In the beginning, I didn't actively look for ideas and would struggle to come up with them. So I decided to subscribe to a writing magazine. Although it seemed to offer mostly fiction advice, I hoped it would give me ideas for my non-fiction writing.

After studying the magazine a few months, I read a feature about finding and recording things that would provide inspiration. The author said you just never knew when something would pique your interest. She suggested you should always have a notepad and pencil with you. I thought for a moment, and realized this was as true for fiction writers as it is for non-fiction.

That afternoon I purchased two notepads: one small one that would fit in my bag and a second slightly larger one that I placed on my bedside cabinet. Within a few days, I was glad I had. I was on the train and a passenger opposite me was wearing the most amazing necklace. Created from twisted wire and beads, it was something I felt I could use to inspire my jewelry making. I pulled out my notepad and made a quick sketch. A little later I spotted a Christmas decoration idea I knew I could use to inspire my sewing. So, out came my notepad.

Today, I try to carry my notebook with me everywhere. In fact, I'm so known for my notebooks that I now receive them as Christmas gifts. Recently, my niece even made me a small notepad just the right size for my handbag.

So, if you want to fuel your non-fiction writing, why not keep a notepad with you? You just never know what inspirational ideas you'll find around the next corner.

P.S. When you spot that inspirational idea and you discover you don't have your notepad with you, why not use the camera (if appropriate and you have one) on your phone instead?

HOW TO WRITE A CRAFT BOOK by Lynne Garner starts Saturday, October 6, 2012. For information and enrollment details, visit our classroom page.


Kirstie said...

Or if it's not a photograph-able idea most android phones and iDevices have a note taking app or voice recording function too. I've used them a few times while out having a stroll with my son.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Yes, having a notebook with you at all times can be invaluable--even if you overhear a bit of conversation and want to jot it down to use in a story or book.

Thanks, Lynne, for the post.

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

I've writing notes on everything from napkins to menus. One time, I even, ((gasps)) tore an extra page out of a book I was reading to capture the image in front of me. Not idea, I know, but a writer's gotta do what a writer's gotta do. :)

Unknown said...

I so agree about taking a little notebook with you! After years of writing inspirations on napkins, paper placemats, etc. I found that a notebook is a simple solution.
Personally I prefer unlined notebooks & I keep them in stock. One is always in my carryall that I take with folded grocery bags for the store.
Great post!

MicroSourcing said...

Keeping a small notebook with you helps you record inspiring ideas while you're on the go. There's no telling when inspiration will strike, so it's handy for a lot of writers.

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