Here’s an interesting take on notebooks that I have to quote at length:
I don’t like fancy journals. Hardbound is great for books, but when it comes to things I write in, spiral bound please. No fancy covers – though hard covers can be nice when you write on the road a lot. No fifty-dollar, hard cover, hard bound, engraved with my name on the cover notebooks or journals.
I won’t write in them.
There are no exceptions – at least, there hasn’t been so far in my life. I have given good attempts at writing in the fancy books I receive, but I never keep going.
Just give me a crap notebook and I’ll be happy.
No, you don’t need to run over a perfectly nice notebook just for me, but give me a lined, spiral bound notebook that you or your child would use for school and I’ll be happy. A notebook that will take more damage than an idiot driver in a little red sports car is just fine.
Why the crappy notebooks? Why can’t I write beautiful things in a beautiful notebook?
Well, I can. Or rather, I can try. But the thing is, I don’t write beautiful things from the first go. That’s why there are things called drafts. In my first draft? Well, that’s where I need to give myself permission to write the real crap. Let the hero save the princess just so I can get it out of my system and then go ahead and kill him when he finds out she’s been having an affair with his father in the next draft.
Crappy, cheap, plain notebooks give writers space and permission to get things – no matter how stupid, silly, whatever they are – out of their system. They can explore angles without having to worry about cleaning ripping out pages so they don’t show or scribble marks.
Save your fancy journals. Give me a crappy notebook any day.
What’s your preference, a “crap” notebook, or a “nice” notebook? I personally don’t like overly fancy, decorated journals– that’s why I’ve always liked bound journals with plain covers such as Moleskines, Piccadillies, HandBook Journals, Cachet or Watson Guptill Sketchbooks and the like. But this writer would consider those “fancy” notebooks. I’ve had lots of composition books and cheap spiral notebooks over the years too, and there is something about their disposability that makes them more conducive to longer writings that will be drafted by hand and later typed into a computer– but for me, that tends to be because of size just as much as quality– I always carry an unlined or squared pocket size notebook, but when I need something for longer creative writing, I’ll use a lined notebook in an 8.5 x 11 inch format, and I’m happy for it to be crappy.
Read more at The Importance of Having a Crap Notebook « InkyBlots.