This past weekend I taught a class in the UCLA Extension Writer’s Program, called, “The Writer’s Notebook,” and inevitably, the question arises – “How many notebooks do I keep?”
My answer is always the same. Everyone has their own needs and preferences and the advice I give is simply mine. The truth is, when I was a novice notebook-keeper I thought it was a good idea to keep separate notebooks for each project, in addition to keeping one notebook on my desk, one in my car and one on my bedside. As I grew older and more forgetful, this became a problem, because it became harder and harder to keep track of where I might have left each notebook after writing my entries.
So these days, I keep only one notebook which includes my musings, creative project ideas, tidbits of overheard dialogue, favorite quotations/ passages and books-to-be-read. The only separate journal is my dream journal which remains on my bedside table, just in case I happen to remember my lunar ramblings. My one daily notebook stays with me at all times. When in my writer’s studio it sits on my desk. When I go out, I have this ritual of never leaving without my car keys, wallet and notebook. These are the tools which ground me and bring me safely from point A to B and back again.
What about you?