Some Thoughts on Thought-Catchers

Journals are cool. Just ask any writer.

Yeah, we all have our computers, iPads and PDAs. Almost all electronic devices these days have note-taking apps…and if not there’s a good chance you can download one for your computer or phone. 

Sure, all that technology shit’s pretty awesome. But we writers still enjoy walking into a coffee shop, ordering some java, and whipping out our beautiful journals to write in while we enjoy all that public ambience.

Why?

Because we feel like sex-on-wheels when we write in a journal in public, that’s why. Hemingway wrote in a journal. And PAPA was SEXY!

But there’s more to journaling than lookin’ Old School Cool at the local Starbucks.

Journaling…writing stuff on paper, can actually help jump start your creativity when you’re stuck in the Ninth Circle of Blockage Hell. Ray Bradbury wrote a whole section on brainstorming (writing thoughts down on paper as quickly as possible) in his book “The Zen in the Art of Writing.”

Sometimes a journal for me is a thought-catcher. I think of stuff and I want to write it down. I brainstorm for new ideas.

Sometimes a journal is a story bible and can be a very straightforward, non-pricey item. And as a college student practically living on financial aid, the less expensive the better.

Note: Click on any of the images below to view in larger detail.

First up: Papa’s Pride: I love my Moleskine. They’re not cheap, but Jesus they’re beautiful! This is the notebook Hemingway used. I use the softcover one because I like the way it feels in my hands. I take it with me whenever I go to restaurants or cafes, even if I end up taking a story bible. You never know when a great idea is going to come surfing in…hanging ten on your brainwaves. Writer Journaling Rule #1: Be prepared. Here’s my moleskin:

Hemingway Special

Can’t afford the $18 price tag on one of these babies? Don’t feel bad. I can’t often get a Moleskine myself. That one was a gift.

Next is a shot of an el cheapo faux leather bound journal I bought before I got the Moleskin. It’s pic is featured with a screenshot of a story I actually wrote in it. I bought it at the Dollar Store…for a dollar. Yup. Times are hard, and I’ve been in the 99% my whole life.

Dollar Deals and Steals

This journal still finds its usefulness. This is the thought-catcher I use when I want to do a quick on-paper brainstorm or, as you can see from the accompanying page, when I’m blocked and want to get unblocked by writing a story longhand. I’ve only done that a few times. I’m getting too fucking old…my hand cramps when I write for long periods of time. Then again, I’m a lefty, so writing longhand is not something I enjoy a whole lot anyway.

WIP: "Found Object"

Next up is another cheapie, but a goodie. My Story Bible. I use a Story Bible when I’m working on a Big Project, like my first e-books (coming soon, stay tuned :)), my novellas, or my novels. I plan them using a regular notebook. But not just any old run-0f-the-mill notebook will cut it with me. It has to be a Mead. Preferably one of the smaller ones (6 x 9 1/2) with the pen-loops…but they stopped selling those (bastards), so I’m back to getting the wire ones. I love Mead notebooks as Story Bibles. They are divided in sections (if you get the 3-or-5 subject ones) with file pockets. You can tuck a lot of research away in those puppies. Here is a shot of my Story Bible for the novel I’m researching right now. I’m writing down my ideas for plotlines and character outlines in it:

Mead Five-Star 6 x 9 1/2 5-Subject

This is the Story Bible I’ve had by my side for about six months now. I haven’t got it anywhere near full yet, but it’s well on its way to helping me sort out what will be my next Big Work-In-Progress.

QotH Story Bible

I hope you enjoyed the methodology behind my journaling madness. Please visit the other writers participating in the Scribbles Blog Hop. I’m sure their own journaling experiences are as unique and wonderful as mine.

Happy Journaling!

This post is part of  the “Scribbles Blog Hop.” A bunch of crazy writers got together to blog about our journals. Click on the links below and you’ll be taken to the other websites in the hop. 

Danielle La Paglia: http://daniellelapaglia.wordpress.com/

Anne Michaud: http://annecmichaud.wordpress.com

Marianne Su: http://mariannesu.com/blog/

Victoria D Griesdoorn: http://www.vdgriesdoorn.com/

Ren Warom: http://renwaromsumwelt.wordpress.com/

J.A. Campbell: http://writerjacampbell.wordpress.com/

Tammy Crosby: http://tammywrites.wordpress.com 

Chrissey Harrison: http://chrisseysgreatescape.wordpress.com

Nathalie Westgate: http://nataliewestgate.com

Tony Noland: http://www.tonynoland.com/

Larry Kollar: http://farmanor.blogspot.com/

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