What do you do with all those old notebooks? journals? piles of notes?
How long should we keep them? forever?
I guess, there’s different things here. My old notes and notebooks full of ideas are floating in various places, saved for that some day I might mine them for good ideas.
Yet, there are other types of journals and notebooks – our personal ones. Does anyone every throw those away? burn them?
One woman told me she was sorry she threw hers away. She’d like other people to see them, read them, understand they weren’t alone in their thoughts and feelings.
Certainly, that is why I write. However, that is not why I keep a journal. And those journals, over the years, have piled up. I have nightmare images of my daughters reading them after I’ve passed, wondering if they should have committed me.
There’s probably some good mining that could go on in them, but I don’t want to reread them. They are the past, dark things best left there – aren’t they? Or do I use them, dredge things up, use them to add authenticity to my writing?
There’s plenty of me in my writing, my fiction. Need I add more? Or do I destroy the evidence?
Dan Brown, Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, and a number of other authors talk about writing in notebooks.
Blume says she fills it up from start to finish. I have to admit, a have a number of half empty notebooks. I keep them in various places, the car, the bedroom, dining room table, my desk. Then, I move them around, put them elsewhere and begin a new one before I rediscover the one I previously used.
I used to use big composition notebooks. These days I use smaller journal types.
Studies show that writing by long hand in a notebook uses a different part of the brain.
I wrote Grandma’s Last Secret by long hand in a notebook. I wrote the whole of West End in a notebook before I ever thought of touching the laptop. I feel like there’s a difference for me. And sometimes, the notebook is easier on the eyes, easier on the brain. I don’t feel as much pressure from a pen and paper that I do when I sit in front of the computer.
But I do write on the computer sometimes too. I sit down and I’ll write a story, sometimes, from start to finish on the computer without considering a notebook.
Do you use notebooks? Or computers? or Both? Feel free to share in our facebook group.