Writer’s Notebook number 8!!! It is time. Finally. Anyone else get excited about starting a new notebook?
Last time, we walked through memory lane with the Evolution of my Writers Notebooks. I had just finished notebook 7 at that time, so it’s definitely time to start a new one.
“A writer’s notebook is a blank book waiting for a chance to hold your imagination within its pages. It can come in many different styles and can serve many different purposes.“The Wonderful World of Writer’s Notebooks
With this post, I’ll walk you through three tips that I use starting a new notebook. Why? How many empty notebooks do you have at home? Let’s get started…
Tip 1: Choose a notebook you like.
I don’t know about you, but every time I go into a store that sells notebooks, I find myself picking up each one and flipping through it. Even if I don’t intend to buy one, I imagine what could be written on those pages.
Wait… How many notebooks do I need? As many as you want! Or… one at a time… Whichever works best.
For this notebook, I chose the Pen + Gear Leatherette journal for the second time in a row. Why? I love the way the pages feel and how they’re set up. I also love the sturdiness of the notebook.
I tried to buy a different kind of notebook online, but it’s not the same when you don’t get to hold it in your hands and dream. The one I ordered was also much smaller than I thought it would be… Given, that’s my fault since I obviously did not check the dimensions.
Tip 2: Personalize your notebook.
This is by far one of my favorite parts of starting a new notebook! So many notebooks already have some kind of design on them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add to it.
“This is probably the most important step. This is the personalization step: make it yours. Why? You are more inclined to write in it if you feel a personal connection to it.”The Wonderful World of Writer’s Notebooks
Personalizing (or decorating if you want to call it that) helps the notebook stand out and scream your name. I have two children, and when they repetitively yell my name, I find out what’s going on.
The same idea is true for a personalized notebook. It sits on the shelf (or desk or ottoman or counter or wherever) and yells at you until you find out what it wants.
Easy. It wants your ideas!
You could simply write your name on the front or a favorite quote. You could go all out and create an extravagant cover. Either way, personalizing your notebook is a great way to encourage more writing.
Tip 3: Write something on page one.
This has gone too far! Write something in this beautiful notebook? This notebook will all these perfectly empty pages? This notebook that doesn’t have any creases or folds? This notebook that…
YES! You’ve got this. If we don’t write something soon, then we’ll either forget we have the notebook or keep dreaming about how beautiful the pages are even though they’re empty.
What you write on page one depends on what the purpose is for your notebook. If it’s for one WIP, you might write your goals or deadlines on page one. If it’s a compilation of ideas, you might brain dump on page one.
Normally, I’ll create a “Love it/Loathe it” list or a “Heart Map” on the first page. This time, I decided to change it up and brain dump instead.
No matter how you choose to fill page one, get something on that page!
At my first teaching job, we brought in an artist as a guest presenter. While I unfortunately do not remember his name, I do remember his lesson.
He brought practice canvases for each student and teacher. The first thing he said to do was to put a light mark or doodle somewhere on the page. Anywhere, mark on the blank canvas.
“There,” he had said after creating a long line from the top to the bottom of his canvas. “It’s no longer perfect. Whatever you do to that canvas now can only make it better. There’s no need to be afraid of creativity.”
In my opinion, the same strategy works for writer’s notebooks. If we write on that first page, we destroy the perception that the notebook is perfect. Anything we add after that point only makes it better.
Why wouldn’t we want to make our notebooks better, fill them with our ideas? Mark that first page up!
Are my tips similar to yours? Do you have any I haven’t mentioned? What do you write on your first page? Share with us in the comments below.
This post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop (hosted by Raimey Gallant), which is dedicated to helping writers become stronger and more confident in their craft. Click here for more information, to continue hopping through other posts, or to join in!