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Stripy notebook syndrome . . . or why you don't need a beret

May 05,2013
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Like most writers, over the years I've developed certain work habits that help me keep writing. Overall, this is a good thing, humans seem to mostly need structures and habits to help any long-term activity like writing a book. But the downside of some of these habits is when you become convinced that you can't work any other way.

A case in point is my early technique of writing a chapter longhand first and then typing up the handwritten material on a computer. For some reason the notebooks I started with were cheap black and red hardbound journals. In the picture here you can see some 15 or so of them, which contain the manuscript of LIRAEL. But at some point there was a terrible stationery drought and I couldn't find any red and black notebooks to buy. For a short period I went through a mental process that was something along the lines of "no black and red notebooks. I can't write in anything else. I can't write any more." Then I slapped myself in the head and purchased the first notebook that came to hand, a blue and grey striped book. And lo and behold, I could write in that just as well as I could in the black and red notebooks. Or on scraps of paper. Or, as it turned out, without handwriting first at all.

So not only did I not need a black and red notebook, I didn't need a favourite pen, a beret, a garret, or a special time when everything was quiet and the moon was full. There are always reasons not to write, but in order to do it successfully, you have to ignore them. Buy the stripy notebook or not. Handwrite, type, dictate, whatever works. Be prepared to change old habits or learn new ones. There are a multitude of different ways to write.

May 09,2013

I'll usually write on whatever I get my hands on, however this means I usually have to go scrounging through my worksheets and text books to find a certain paragraph or line that I may have written one day. My worst problem is writing on tests or essays I finish, simply flipping it over and writing on the back. Most of the time we don't get to keep these, so I lose a page of fun writing, yet I can't stop.

Worst memory was my english creative writing task earlier this year, where I drifted off in the middle of the hour and accidentally wrote a poem write smack-bang in the middle of my essay. Probably not my best moment. However, I didn't actually notice until it was 'pens down' time and then I couldn't change anything. Woops.

 

Luckily, I still got an A+, so apparently the poem was somehow relevant.

I've never been so grateful and relieved. I was hoping that scare would cure me of my test-writing-syndrome.

It did not.

May 07,2013

Writing with a beret seems like one of those quirks that a writer would have, which while awesome, would also confuse everyone. xD

A few years ago, I had a thing where I could never write when I had any tests coming up in school because I never felt at peace. But then the next year, it got to the point where I constantly had something to study for and if I wanted to write, I'd have to do it while I had other stuff on my mind. And now I'm simply lazy when it comes to writing. :/

May 07,2013
anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I can only write in spiral bound a4 notebooks (with pretty designs). I can't stand writing in exercise book or anything smaller than a4 but I do like typing on my netbook. :) 

May 06,2013
anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I'm not quite so picky...college-ruled loose-leaf and either a Pilot 0.7mm or Bic Velocity gel are my favorite (preferably in blue or black), but I've been known to scrawl chapters/book parts on the backs of placemats at work with whatever pen I'm using for orders that day. I say a good day of writing is one full placemat...but that's also bad for business!

I love reading your blogs and look forward to hearing more from you!

 

Dayanara(the American Clayr)

May 05,2013

Well, either way, I'd still like to give the beret a go x) This reminds of the Nike 'No Excuses' video... only the writer's edition ^_^

May 05,2013

You must have been haunting all of the newsagencies and stationery stores for quite some time.

May 05,2013
anonymous's picture
Anonymous

(And maybe to live, too! Very good suggestions for cross-curricular living.)

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