Thursday, May 2, 2013

Writing Notebooks, Advice, and Productivity

One blog post I've read, pinned, and reread is this one about writing notebooks.  While I agree with some of the things the blogger says and I do love her list - both the notebooks she discusses and the later list of other possibilities - I don't agree with the necessity of those three notebooks.  I find my computer a more practical place for the things she discusses under "A Writer's Notebook."  Writing stream-of-consciousness style never did much good for me. The few times I managed to keep it up, all I ended up with was writing fatigue and vague depression.  (I do keep her "A Pocket Notebook," though, and I'm not sure what I'd do without it!)

Every writer's method of getting ideas, planning out stories/worlds/characters, writing, editing, blogging, researching, note-taking - it's all different.  When a writer tells his readers that you must do X to be successful or doing B will ruin you forever... well, I don't like hearing that.  Because I know from trial-and-error that nothing if guaranteed for all writers, and every writer will have at least one "don't" they easily get away with.

Still, I love to read advice posts.  Because until I do try the advice, I don't know whether or not it applies to me.  Some things that I couldn't live without (pocket notebook!), I would never have discovered without the advice of other writers.

So today, I want to share something with those of my lovely readers who, with me, live under the burden of character-voices-in-my-head and the joy of I-just-invented-a-world.  While the "Morning Pages" journal from that article will probably never grace my nightstand, I've discovered there's still merit in it for people like me.  I think the boost in productivity users of a Morning Pages journal experience isn't really due to what they're writing.... but the fact that they're writing first thing.

Mornings can seem like mystical lands where you need to stumble into the shower/coffeepot for anything to make sense.  Or they can be your absolute favorite time of day.  Either way, I think the majority of us writers can benefit from writing something in the morning.

It doesn't have to be stream-of-consciousness, although you can do that.  I keep a journal of my dreams (which also helps with dream recall and lucidity, but that's beside the point).  I've discovered that, on mornings when I write down my dreams, I am write faster and more clearly then with my NaNo, school essays, whatever.  On days when I can't remember my dreams or am in a hurry and therefore skip the journal, I then struggle with other writing projects for the rest of the day.

How this is all related is beyond me.  I don't know much about the brain and how writing relates to it.  But I've learned from my experience and thought I'd share my findings with you, my lovely readers.

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