“Writers are first and foremost observers. We lose ourselves in the watching and then the telling of the world we find.”- Lisa Unger
If you are anything like me, you love to people watch. You get inspired sometimes by the smallest things, the things that the average human never takes a second glance at. As writers, it’s our job to observe the world around us and then express it in a way that make people look closely at the world they bypass. This expression can be in any form or genre, but what remains consistent is that these observations and stories are universal. That’s what makes writing good writing, right?
The question I present to you then is:
how do you remember all that you see?
Before I entered college, I wrote my thoughts, inspirations, and observations on anything I could find. Napkins, loose-leaf notebook paper, sticky notes, even the margins of my class notes were graffitied with the beginnings of great stories. The trouble was I had a hard time keeping track of all my little notes.
So I started buying notebooks, any and all that I could get my hands on. Pretty ones, old ones, plain ones, nerdy ones, the list could go on for days. Just like buying books, buying notebooks has become a kind of addiction for me.
It wasn't long before I began facing an even bigger problem. It was easier to write on scraps of any old piece of paper. When I started buying real notebooks, I was always worried that I wouldn’t know what to write or that I would mess it up. This is still a problem for me when it comes to my “The Hobbit” notebook my boyfriend, Michael, bought me two Christmases ago. I can’t bear to ruin it with my ugly scribbles!
But isn’t this the age-old fear of writing?
Being afraid that your writing isn’t good enough?
If you have these same horrible thoughts plague your mind, get rid of them! They are no good! I recommend reminding yourself everyday that your writing is imperfect, and that’s okay! Actually, that’s great! Every bad word you write will lead to good ones. Jessica Brody once said, “Don’t be afraid to write crap because crap makes great fertilizer.” As I venture on in my own writing adventure, I realize the truth of her words everyday.
So I dare you to mess your notebook up! It proves that you are observing the world, processing it with an open mind, and recording it so that it may be shared with others.
Let me know what are your thoughts about notebooks. What kinds of notebooks are your favorites? Do you keep your notes on your phone? Or do you fear ruining a notebook like I do?
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