College can be busy. And that's only one stage of an even busier life to come. For us writers, we have to get used to snatching moments to write whenever they come. A lot of the time I write on my laptop or jot things down on my phone. But let's face the facts here. In the middle of class, you're not always allowed to have your laptop or phone out. And you're not always going to have access to your laptop or phone in real life either. So what do you do? Your ideas need a place to be stored or they're going to vanish! You need a backup plan.
You need a notebook. From my experience, you need three notebooks. They need to be in your backpack, purse, or whatever at all times to be available to store your strokes of genius whenever you have them. I carry these three notebooks in my backpack throughout the week. I bring them out for lunch breaks and even during class! Since I started using them regularly, I have had a surge of creative productivity. Want to hear about them?
1. A Life Notebook
As a Christian writer, I also use this notebook to record lessons God teaches me throughout the day. I record encouragements and doubts, triumphs and failures, and how they impact me.
This notebook is not meant to be a diary. You don't have to make it personal and secret. Try recording your thoughts and experiences from a different point of view. Who knows, these insights might prove useful in future character development.
2. A General Creativity Notebook
As writers, we notice things that other people don't. That's a unique talent of ours. We notice. We observe. Throughout the day, any number of things can strike you. The person who sits alone at lunch, the look of the trees in the winter, or the color of the sky at sunset. These images in your head deserve to be recorded!
A general creativity notebook is where you want to record these snatches of life that you observe. That could be anything from creatively describing a person's appearance to jotting down an interesting section of conversation. You never know what random detail will spark a story in your mind. This notebook could become a future goldmine for you if you work to keep it full.
3. A Main Novel Notebook
This is the notebook where you keep those tidbits that you just know could be used in your story! Character descriptions, setting ideas, character quotes, the possibilities are endless!
Sometimes, I've been sitting in class and something the professor says will give me an idea. I take out my novel notebook (looking extra studious) and write it out in class. It's amazing the story ideas that come to you in college classes.
I like to fill my notebook with FreeThinking exercises too. I choose a character or plot point and just write out my thoughts until the thoughts stop coming. Through this exercise, I've been able to clear out my head enough to make breakthroughs in character and plot development.
What You'll Need
This is all up to personal preference of course. But here is how I went about creating my three writer notebooks.
|Pretty Main Novel Notebook!|
My Main Novel Notebook needed to have more space for creativity to spread around. At the time, since I was already buying college notebooks, I bought one more and set it aside as my Novel Notebook. It's a Five Star single subject college-ruled notebook with a pretty plastic cover. It even has a pocket inside where I can stick any random notes or inspiration that I need to.
I keep all three of these notebooks in my backpack, so I always have access to them. Even though I've only been using all three for a few months and I'm already seeing a big change. My writing habits are growing and I'm feeling much more productive amid my busy schedule. Remember, not all college classes/or real world situations allow you to have your computer nearby. You need to be able to capture all your creative thoughts immediately!
Have fun making or buying your own writing notebooks! Tell me if you have any other tips for capturing ideas or making use of free time for writing. Do you already have a creative writing notebook? How has it changed your writing habits?
Have a great day, everyone!