Paper Evidence of a Writer’s Mind

All right, back on track this week with the posts!

So I briefly mentioned some time ago that I have a paper journal. This past year, my paper journal has been a lifesaver, especially when I had to cut back the number of hours I sat hunched over a computer, drastically. I mean, there was a time where sitting in one spot for ten minutes would cause pain. No good for programming or writing. So I turned to a paper journal, in which I could write while laying on my stomach, thus giving my back/legs a break. I’ve never been able to fill a paper journal, and I blame that on the awful journals I used to own. Really, I do. Because the journal I have now… well, just looking at it inspires me to write. The paper is smooth, with large lines so I can write new ideas between sentences. The cover has a magnetic seal, but lays flat when open. And, in the newest journal, I decided to draw a bit. Below are a couple of pictures.

A sketch to inspire
I drew this one night when my
homework really frustrated me.

There is no cure for curiosity.
Close up of my pretty girl.
(“The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker)

A messy bit of madness
Writing is a messy business.
The green strips are actually bits of a small square
PostIt that I cut up to use as place markers.

Late night genius
My plot outline, obviously re-worked a bit.
In fact, a lot of the plot doesn’t exist as
written here… it seemed a bit contrived.

Do you have a paper journal? If you do, do you take it everywhere with you? Or leave it at the bedside table for those midnight inspirations? If you don’t use a paper journal, why do you think that is?

7 thoughts on “Paper Evidence of a Writer’s Mind

  1. I have far too many, and I am faithful to none of them. Poor journals. 😦

    I think there are a couple reasons for this. I type 80-90 wpm, and I write very slowly, for one. My fingers can keep up with my head on a keyboard, but when I write on paper I just can't do it fast enough. My style changes, and I really hate everything I write on paper. I recently even had a chance to test this when I tried to switch from Qwerty to Dvorak. I can barely pull 15 wpm on the new system, and my concentration just went out the window, the style plummeted, I couldn't seem to think.

    Also, I firmly believe that life should have an 'undo' button. 😉


  2. I used to be the same way. I swore by writing at the computer only, unless inspiration struck, in which case I dashed for the nearest pile of napkins. I'm also a very fast typer (having never clocked myself I have no idea how fast I type), and my ideas often come too quickly, just like you. But for some reason, writing in a journal not only worked for this WIP, it was necessary. Probably because, like you said, the style changes when you switch to a more "traditional" format.

    My 'undo' in the journal is a quick two-line scratch out, with new stuff written around the old stuff. It makes me feel very Virginia Woolf, haha.

    Oh wow, you switched to Dvorak! I hear once you get past the learning curve, you type superhuman fast. Keep at it? I also hear that it's really hard to switch back and forth, and since most computers are Qwerty, people just stick with it.


  3. Actually, switching the computer layout is a piece of cake. Just go into the control panel (assuming a Windows OS) and into the keyboard options. Install it once, then you can just press a keyboard shortcut to go from one to the other. The letters will still look like qwerty, but if you're good enough to type by touch, then it really doesn't matter. Plus, you can keep it on qwerty to keep people from using your computer.


  4. Oh, I meant the physical change of, say, typing in Dvorak at home and then switching to Qwerty when at work. That is… you get so used to typing in Dvorak and then it’s a shock to the mind machine to switch back to Qwerty? 🙂


  5. That’s what the easy settings change is for. Of course, I’m a boss-lady with my own (permanent) desk, so perhaps I don’t count?


  6. I have a ton of writing related journals, but never any for just life. I’ve always envied people who have written in diaries and journals for most of their life, because I felt my life wasn’t interesting enough, or when it was “interesting,” I always felt way too vulnerable at the thought of my troubles and trials laid out on a page for someone to accidentally come across. Plus, it helped me ignore my faults and flaws–a fatal flaw in and of itself. But I’m working on it. I do find it interesting that I can blog without too much worry, but paper? Maybe because I can delete a blog post and make like it never existed?


  7. I’m the exact opposite, oddly enough. I’ve kept a private LJ for almost eight years, and write in it regularly. Of course, you’re only supposed to be able to see it if you’re a “friend,” which may just be me duping myself. I’ve never thought of it as being “interesting,” but more… I’m a very introspective person and sometimes I need an outside, objective listener to tell me whether I’m obsessing or not. It’s probably the same thing with me in terms of just deleting the blog post and pretending like it never existed. I’ve done that a couple of times.

    But writing journals… I could never get into it. Until this one! 🙂


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