Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Little Notebook

I'm supposed to have a notebook that I carry with me everywhere. That's what writer's are supposed to do. It's for freewriting or that one big idea that hits when you're sitting on a public toilet at the mall and inspiration just "hits". You could scribble it on the wall with the rest of the graffiti, but then you'd have to return to that very same spot the next time you sit down to write and need somewhere to start. Having a little notebook and a pen at all times helps to prevent these bathroom incidents (among others).

I don't have one. I've tried it. I've bought countless notebooks of varying widths and sizes that fit in my purse or my bookbag or my pocket. All of them have either been turned into a place to write my grocery lists or something to write notes on while I'm sitting in church and should be listening (ok, so I don't do that anymore, but it was really handy when I was in high school). The only notebook that I've been able to be relitevly consistent with is my food journal. I write down whatever I eat and how many calories are in it. Not exactly food for thought when I'm writing.

I have a wide library of writing books and so far, every one of them that I've read have talked about the little notebook and how valuable, yet priceless, it is to the writer. Perhaps it is. Perhaps every writer ought to have one. But then again, every writer ought to write every day and turn off the phone when they're writing, have a desk to write on, and not let things like husbands and reality TV stop them mid sentence. I don't do any of that. I would love to write every day, but it just doesn't happen. There really are days when I'd rather do the laundry than write and so, I do the laundry. I NEVER turn off my phone. What if Nick calls? I would ALWAYS rather talk to him than do anything else. I don't have a desk. I'd love to get a desk, but our tiny apartment (that costs way too much) would just be that much more crowded with another piece of furniture in it. The couch works well and I can put my feet up on the coffee table, give my kitties a place to keep warm and sit next to my husband while we work on our projects together. I might schedule my writing time for eight o'clock on Thursdays, but when Survivor is on, there's no way I'm going to turn it off to write. I'd never be able to concentrate anyway knowing that someone is about to get voted off at tribal council.

At the top of the list of things that writers ought to do should be one very simple thing: enjoy life. Every second of every day holds the possibility for something wonderful and worth writing about it. Don't be so busy with that little notebook that you can't look up from the page and take notice.