Many friends and students say they want to keep a notebook, but they don’t know how to start and what to write. Being the sort of writer who has more ideas than hours in the day, I find this hard to believe, but we cannot assume everyone is like us. For me the notebook or journal is my creative net, catching anything and everything that crosses my path during the day. It contains dreams (nighttime and daytime), compelling quotations, overheard dialogue, observations of bizarre characters, situations which irk me, current events, stories about loved ones, selections from favorite books, and of course, my course random daily musings.
It’s important to carry the notebook everywhere because one never knows when the muse will strike, and even though corners of newspapers and restaurant napkins work in an emergency, they often get misplaced or saturated in spilled beverages.
I learned the art of notebook-keeping from my most admired diarist, Anaïs Nin who had her own particular ritual. She would designate a time to sit and write. Then, she closed her eyes and described the first image which appeared. Most often, it was something that had been on her mind.
Try it. It really works and you’ll be surprised how the words flow and even if they take you away from the initial images, that’s okay.
Write me and let me know how it goes!