art advice

A Notebook is a Kid’s Best Friend

You know that feeling of a brilliant idea you’re sure you had, now just out of reach? Like waking from a vivid dream with no memory of the dream.

Or maybe you had the wording for what you wanted to say just right, but you didn’t jot it down and now none of your phrasing feels as poignant. 

One of my mom’s artist’s magazines told me to carry a notebook everywhere I went, no matter what, for that perfect image waiting to be sketched. Most writers will say to have it beside the bed, for when inspiration (a drawing in of breath) strikes. That is, by the way, how I’m writing this, on a night when I fell asleep too early and woke up at 2am wired. 

So why do I forget to write things down? Because I’m at work, driving, or otherwise find it impossible or unsafe? Sometimes. But as a member of the human race, no matter how well I think I know something, I have to keep learning these lessons. I’ve gone whole weeks with a bag filled with novels and crochet projects, but no notebook or no pen. 

Plus, and I’m sure you can relate, I act like my phone can do the job. I have Evernote, the WordPress app, can even sketch with a stylus. Which is fabulous! My phone is more mini computer and writing implement than communication device in how I use it. Sure, I get distracted, but more than that, half the time I want to write something on my phone, it’s dead! Paper is amazingly reliable. 

Even as I’m writing this I’m struggling with formatting issues that aren’t a big deal, but take me out of my flow. 

Plus, it’s easier to avoid editing while writing on paper, and save that pesky judgmental voice for later, when typing up. Of course I’ll keep using my phone for creative endeavors. But there still needs to be a notebook on me at all times.

What about you? Is your phone enough? Are you attached to a notebook or sketch pad? Is there some other method that works for you? I’d love to hear!