Diary of a Writer – October Writing Prompt

A modest selection

Notebooks, notebooks, notebooks…

A staple of any writer’s toolkit and the one we love most, is our notebook. The picture shows but a modest selection from my immodest collection (no, numbers will not be revealed, but suffice it to say the completed ones can be considered as a useful addition to the attic insulation).

The big, plain A4 was in my goody bag at the recent, and excellent, Scotswrite conference of the Society of Authors in Scotland. I love these for jobs like editing and critiquing. I also still find it easy and therapeutic to write long-hand when the pc isn’t available or there’s a wee glitch to be sorted. Something about seeing the words appear and then the crossings-out makes it all very real. The two wee ones are from another goody bag – Romantic Novelists’ Association – and as meet-up swag. Thank you ladies, Annie Burrows and Christine London. The next size up were brought to the launch of Bella’s Betrothal by fellow Capital Writer, Jane Riddell – the elegant black and silver, and bought by me in the V&A – who doesn’t like shoes?

The medium sized ones comprise one for note-taking and, the dark one, for recording everything I send out and how the work fares. Some of the pages have lovely red £ signs indicating a sale or licence fee (I have plays, folks).

So, how many do you have? Did you start out sewing together pages to make a book, aged 6? Doesn’t the simple sight of a notebook prompt you to get started?


12 thoughts on “Diary of a Writer – October Writing Prompt

  1. I’m not going to make a public confession of how many notebooks I have. It’s my guilty secret/pleasure. However, I do recognise your collection as something very similar to your own. Some of mine were gifts or giveaways. Others I saw, lover and bought. Some are in use, others are almost too lovely to actually use 🙂
    I did make my own notebooks as a child but as my dad was a bookbinder, stationer and printer I had access to all sorts of freebies – paper pads, stapler and paper clips.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How I wish I could confess to such a collection, Anne. I do have a small notebook in the left hand pocket of every coat, and in my bag and keep a spiral notebook to hand when watching TV. I write articles and sometimes a snippet in an introduction to a location sparks an idea. However apart from these and another recording submissions I am far more likely to grab the nearest scrap of paper when the muse strikes. Only yesterday I came across the much edited draft of a poem written three years ago which was on the back of some advertising junk and could so easily have been thrown away. I think my problem is getting past that first blank page in a notebook.


    • Hi Ann, thanks for dropping by. I do know what you mean about the first blank page. It’s pristine and glossy… However, your own use of notebooks sounds much more productive. Keep it up, Anne


  3. An early starter in amassing paper, I used to tear out the unused pages from school jotters. Today I have lots of lovely notebooks and try to keep a wee one in every handbag (and try to remember to write legibly in them … I’m afraid sometimes my scribbles are indecipherable or otherwise obscure!).


  4. Nice to be granted a glimpse into your collection, Anne. I have, on occasion, become rather precious about notebooks. There are certain ones I’ve bought and never used (keeping them for some, yet to be determined, special project!) only to have them pilfered/ scribbled on by one of my sons – most annoying! Notebooks aren’t fattening and I would argue can be positively good for mental health – who doesn’t get a kick when jotting down some interesting fact, which just might be used later? May your notebook collection grow and grow!


    • Hi Rae, Yes, it’s definitely a ‘writer’ thing. Glad the boys are showing signs of being their mother’s sons, but maybe they’re just jotting down fantasy football teams. Anyway, preferable to the lipstick on the wallpaper events… Anne


  5. Oh, the joy of notebooks. I try not to buy ones that are too nice to use, but despoiling the first page is always traumatic, which is probably why I always have to cross something out within the first four lines. Mine is calling me now, so it must be time to write some words.


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