Writers have a thing for notebooks and journals, at least this one does. For me, a notebook seems to fit into my romantic notions of being a writer, curled up at the base of a tree, a journal flipped to a blank page in my lap, a cricket’s light chirping filling up the silence.
The problem with that image is that writing on paper is becoming less and less practical. At some point, most writers have to make the switch to a computer and a word processor. Publishers and agents don’t want your three-hundred page manuscript printed out and mailed to their office, wasting space in some storage bin or on their cluttered desk. They want the digital file sent directly to them. And so, for people like me, someone who thrives on efficiency, writing in a journal often feels old-fashioned and wasteful.
However, that’s not so. Keeping a journal handy in your bag is actually a smart idea for a writer. Sure, you could write a note in your phone, but then the second someone likes your latest Facebook post or you get an email, you’re distracted from the writing and your creative streak ends. If you’re at home, sometimes booting up the computer takes longer than your ability to hold on to a thought. Notebooks allow for immediacy.
I use mine mainly for brainstorming, outlining, and quick bursts of inspiration—for the type of non-linear thinking that writers developing a story must employ. Etsy has a ton of great and unique journals that are handmade by shop owners, many of which are made from recycled materials (so you won’t feel bad for the planet while pursuing your passion).