Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Tools & Toys of the Trade

About three weeks ago, I got myself a new treat. Behold:
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450"]"It's the little things in life."[/caption]

It's been a while since I've written with paper and pen and I've been meaning to get a notebook to dump in my various bags and backpacks but I always wanted one that just screamed me. You know the kind. A nice hard leather cover with a magnet latch and a little ribbon bookmark.

But my frugal nature, combined with never finding one that I adored finally pointed me in the direction of this simple notebook. Everything's cheaper with the school year starts anew.

Here's a closer look, plus a nice eye-full of the chicken-scratch and scribbles I call "my writing."

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450"]"Yes I can read that. Can you?"[/caption]

Last night I was up until 1:30am writing in this little book, jotting down notes and a rough outline for a project I've been working on since July or August. 10,000 words, an exercise in world building. Let's call it Project 10x10 because I initially wanted to finish it by October. 10K by the 10th month. And then I bumped my self-imposed deadline to Oct 10th.

Luckily, Of course, the subject matter of Project 10x10 lends itself well to the organic feel of paper and pen, too. So that helps. In fact, until I got this book, I was virtually stalled at 3,000 words for days. I tried listening to music, I tried RP, I tried changing my font to one that was more organic looking, but nothing really worked. But I got the book, and while waiting for the bus, I wrote. Words came. They became scenes. So what I forced myself to do was write a paragraph in the book, then type out said paragraph, then go back to writing in the book.

Project 10x10 has actually been one of the most difficult writing tasks I have ever undertaken. I feel a lot of pressure. I am painfully aware of other people writing for Project 10x10 and I feel sometimes that my plot or characterization is stale. But while it's a subject I know oodles about and feel comfortable with, there's tonnes of research to delve into, and my brain can only hold so much info before I become overwhelmed.

I've said writing Gods is like herding cats, but Project 10x10 is like...being the darkest sloth in the sloth exhibit. You're a sloth, people wait to watch you do something, but there are cuter sloths too.

But last night my brain flooded with ideas that I had to get down lest I forget them, and I've written out a outline for places Project 10x10 can go if they like my 10k sample.

And without my new book, I would have had to get out of bed, hop one legged over to my laptop, been dazzled by the sudden light of the screen, and disgruntled, typed out these half-formed thoughts.
So, thank you book. Another purchase without a hint of buyer's remorse.

Sometimes all we need are the right tools to create perfect art.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I have a friend who keeps giving me these really cool notebooks because she knows I'm a writer. The trouble is, I never use them. I do journal sometimes, but I use a boring old 8.5 by 11 spiral notebook. Maybe I should try using the fancy ones. Anyway, I like your idea of using it to capture night thoughts.

Q said...

It happened again! Another bout of note-taking until 1:30am. If I'm not careful it will become a habit.

Also, the pretty notebooks are so, well, pretty that one doesn't want to much them up with words.

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