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The Magical Relationship Between The Writer and Their Notebooks #AmWriting

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This weekend will be spent clearing out my dressing table and creating a temporary work desk. As I am working from home in my day job, the teenagers are off school due to half term, my husband is also working from home and we are in the middle of a strict lockdown, I cannot spend the next two weeks working from the living room. Not only will I have to put up with pyjama clad teens wandering about in the background while I am on Zoom calls, I will also have to listen to my loved one shouting at everyone to keep the noise down from his desk.

Underneath my dressing table there are three large boxes filled with notebooks. Some of my old stories were born inside these notebooks and some still reside between the pages. I have to write this post because I think my family believe this will be the weekend I finally clear out all my boxes of notebooks.

It sounds daft but I am emotionally attached to each one and it is so hard to explain to a non-writer.

I always say my relationship with my notebooks is magical and I am hoping some of you can relate:

  • The magic for a writer first occurs in their notebook.
  • The first scribble of an idea sparks a few sentences, fills a page, spreads across half the notebook and then bursts onto a Word doc.
  • A writer’s notebook retains a little piece of magic because when you read it again years later a part of you starts to tingle.
  • It transports you back to the time of scribbling…years ago when you were living a different life and a fabulous idea for a novel started to unfold inside your head.
  • We carry our notebooks around with us throughout our daily lives, stuffed into handbags, rucksacks or on a mobile phone app. They record thought snippets, lightbulb ideas, tales from life which will make good novel fodder and useful instructions about what to write next.
  • ‘Notebooks are messy little attics of the mind, an odd assortment of shapes and colours stuffed into drawers next to defunct phones and balls of string.’ Execellent quote from Susie Boyt.
  • Some of us will sketch and doodle in our notebooks. I am a big fan of playing out a scene in my notebook using stick men and speech bubbles..
  • Design and covers are quite important when it comes to notebooks. I like to give each project a notebook and this can be tricky as the cover has to in some way relate to the story.
  • A notebook can cure a bad dose of Writer’s Block. These little paper or electronic things are magical and can get your creative cogs turning again.
  • These were the notebooks where I wrote and found parts of myself buried wihin the pages. Writing is not just about producing books, short stories and blog posts, it is also about discovering new versions of you hidden within the pages of your stories.
  • I live in the hope that there is a bestseller living inside of one of my notebooks. It is waiting for me to stumble across it again.

The boxes of notebooks are staying.

Have a great weekend!

7 comments on “The Magical Relationship Between The Writer and Their Notebooks #AmWriting

  1. All of the yeses! I love my notebooks. They hold so much promise.

  2. I love delving into notebooks, old and new. You’re right about how the old ones can make you feel, when you delve back into them, Lucy 💜

  3. Totally agree – I have all of my notebooks – they document so much more than what was being written at the time! No way – would I ever throw them out!

  4. This certainly struck a chord with me, Lucy. I love my notebooks and have a new one for each book as many writers do. Everyone knows how much and I often get them as presents. I enjoy looking back on the early ones and smile at the jottings I find there. A great post and good luck through lockdown!

  5. Wendy Janes

    Really enjoyed this post, Lucy. I have piles of notebooks containing jottings and first drafts, which I’m very attached to! I also love that moment of making the first mark in a new notebook. Hope you stumble across your bestseller!

  6. And, my notebooks keep me organized.

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