The Perks of Keeping a Notebook


Ideas are the fuel that keep writers going. Without them, we find ourselves with an empty tank on the side of the road.

Notebooks are great at refueling that creative need. Here’s why you’ll love having one:

Why Do You Need a Notebook?

For starters, everyone has ideas every day. Ideas for businesses, solutions to problems at work, new ways to reconfigure the living room furniture—ideas are everywhere.

The thing is, ideas tend to flutter away in the wind if you let them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a cool story while drifting off to sleep, only to awaken having completely forgotten it.

That’s what your notebook is for. At the very least, it preserves your ideas. At best, your notebook will provide you inspiration when you need it most.

What Kind of Notebook Should You Get?

A small one. Your notebook is for snippets, not entire stories. Get something light, portable, and pastel (that last part is optional).

Every idea you have, no matter how inconsequential, should go into your notebook. When you think of something, write it down. When you hear a turn of phrase you enjoy, write it down. If you hear a name that might go well on that protagonist you’re working on, write it down. You never know what might inspire you a week, a year, or even decades later.

What Will You Get Out of Your Notebook?

I woke up the other day to do some writing and found that I had nothing to write about. Really, I couldn’t think of a thing. So, I turned to my notebook. I found the following line, which I’d written down December 19th, 2012.

“The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.” That’s a line from William Shakespeare’s King Lear. I don’t think he was referring to Ozzy Osbourne there, but whatever. It’s a cool line, and it helped inspire a short story.

Your notebook is only as powerful as you make it. Take it with you wherever you go; give it your thoughts and interests. And next time you find yourself out of creative fuel, refer back to it. You never know where your notebook might take you.


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