What Should Be In Your Writer’s Notebook?

Welcome. I hope this post finds you well. I know the new strand of the virus is sweeping fast. Which has put many people in lockdowns again? Over here, where I live, it hasn’t affected us yet, so we don’t have any lockdowns at this time. Though the shelves are bare with some items, that is a clear indication that people believe it will happen here. If it does, I know by the time Spring comes, we will all really have cabin fever. It’s bad enough during the winter months as it is, but to be at home not getting out at all will really make cabin fever even worse. Well, it will give you more time to read my posts like the one below. Always have to make a positive out of something negative, so you don’t end up crazy.

Today’s post is for writers. However, it can be for anyone. It is the end of the year, which means now it is time to work on your next year’s plans. To make a game plan of the goals you want to accomplish within the year. How to break them down to make it possible. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. I have my yearly goals down, now I am working to break them down by month, week, and then daily. Let me tell you, this is easier said than down. Yep, it is still a work in progress that will probably get changed several times until I figure out how to do it without overpacking my day. See, if I had only done this last year, I would have a better idea about it. More on this later.

Things being as they are right now could help to jot down your feelings within a notebook. As people are getting locked down again, it can release stress to jot down everything you feel. That way, you’re not taking it out on the loved ones within your home. It’s also there when you need to reference how to express your emotions when writing, Happy thoughts, moods, things you did to make you feel this way. Other things would be anger, despair, depression, emotions where you felt, and what you did to overcome these feelings. How others helped you, or did you do it alone?

How did others act around you? Where they pleasant or did they show distraught emotion, write what you observe with their behavior. All these things come in handy when you need to express them in your writing.

Another thing to jot down smells when you cook fresh meals describes what you are smelling. Did it make your mouth water? Did it scrunch up your nose? Did you smell something you thought was food to find out it was a candle?

Neighbor watching, yeah, it sounds crazy. Hey, I live in an RV Park we have drama all the time out here. It didn’t always be this way. But now that we have rentals, it is interesting, to say the least. Never a dull moment. Yes, I jot down what I see. For example, today, I had a neighbor I heard in my house continually yelling from outside. A woman was swearing up a storm. When I went out to check it out, she was walking around. I looked to see who she was cussing but saw no one. When I turned to head back inside, I saw a Sherrif. Before this year, I’d never seen a Sherrif in our park. Now, it is becoming a regular thing.

Your Notebook

The notebook you go to ues doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Although I recommend that you get one that is sturdy enough to withstand a lot of use. For you don’t know how long this notebook could last you. I have currently been using one for two years. I feel I will refer to it for a few more years. Also, you will want a notebook that is easily to use. Nothing like having a notebook that is difficulty to write inside. Personally, I use the Composition Notebook. Great in price, and it lasts. I name my books, then add stickers to make them stand out for easy recognition.

Goals – As a writer, we can have several notebooks. One to plan out the next year with our goals, whether it be writing a book, editing a book, getting it a Critique Partner, Developmental Editor, Beta Reader, and Advance Copy Reader. To the number of the blog post you want to write for the year—number of Vlogs you wish to film. The events you want to hold. Also, to track your numbers to grow your audience on Social Media and your Email list. It is even great to map out your chapters. Any quotes you want to use. Ideas of what you want to add to your maps. Subplots that you come up with along with Major plots.

Sketches – You can even use a no-line notebook to draw out the maps of your world—each of the realms and kingdoms. Plus, make drawings of your characters. I can’t draw, so if I find a picture close to what I want my character to look like, I’ll print it out. Then place in the book with the character name, plus its characteristics. So, I can refer to it is when needed. If you aren’t using a fantasy world, then note the location and settings within that location.

Tracking – Another notebook is to track your monthly sales, ebooks, paperbacks, affiliates, or other products you choose to sell. Plus, another notebook would be one you carry with you to jot down notes about people, the way they look, unique features about them. If they are doing something out of the ordinary or if they are entirely standard. Are they having a conversation with someone? Their surroundings, are they standing, sitting, smiling, crying, in pain, or laughing? These things are good to write, for you never know when you might find the need to use them. Or they might just inspire you to write a new story.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Your Pen

Ok, no, this has nothing to do with your notebook, right? Well, that is not necessarily, true. A good writing pen could be just as important as your notebook. Think about it if you don’t use a pen that ink lasts a long time, you won’t be able to read what you wrote. If you use a gel pen, if you don’t allow the ink to dry, it will smear then you won’t be able to read your content. It is always wise to have a good writing pen. You’ll want to check out different pens to see, which is a good fit for you.

Now, I found a pen I love at Dollar Tree, twelve pens for $1. They are black gel pens they write dark, which I like for it stands out. The only downfall is the ink in these pens doesn’t last long, so I keep plenty on hand. I have gone through a brand new pen within half a day. But they are great for signing books as well. The thing is to remember to allow the ink to dry, so it doesn’t smear.

Color Coding Bullets

Why use a color-code with your bullets? Well, it is a great way to see your break down so you can follow each category by its color. Plus, if you add stickers to your page, it makes it more fun. Work is hard enough as it is not to add some spice into your day. Let me tell you, when your calendar is totally full, it can all run together. A splash of color allows the contents of your page to be more readable.

Highlighters are another way to color-code the items within your bullet. On the plus side, they can be cheaper than stickers. Highlighters work great for a checklist, then you can see the citatory to prioritize your work. Now, because I use gel ink. I don’t highlight the words. Use the highlighter to color-code a small circle next to the task on my to-do list. It stands out when you mark the job completed. It is a glorious feeling when you can see all that you have accomplished.

Notebook Location

You want to have your notebooks readily accessible, for you will refer to them a lot within the year. It is wise to have them either on your desk or a shelf nearby. There is nothing like being in the middle of something to stop and walk across the room to get the book you are looking for because you need to check something. I don’t know about you, but by the time I got back to my desk, the thought I had would be ancient history.

Now, of course, if that is the only place you have to store your notebooks, then I recommend gathering them before you start your daily writing exercise. Have them on the corner or the floor of your desk. I would have them on the couch next to me. For the dog is at my feet, Rosco would destroy my notebooks just so he could get close enough. He has literally cleaned off the bottom shelf to make himself comfortable under my table to lay his head on the shelf.

Scheduling Time

You want to mark time on your calendar to write within your notebook. This way, you don’t have any excuse not to do it. Make it fun as you do your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly journaling. Because if you don’t, you won’t want to do it, and you can lose vital information that you help you grow personally or with your business.

Yes, it would be wise to do your notebooks long term. Why? It is an excellent way for you to see the progress you have made on specific projects you’ve undertaken. The goals you have reached. Have you set your goals too high? Too low? These are things you will want to look at when you review your notebooks. Didn’t meet your goals well? Was it because you placed your numbers way too high? Did you realize it was totally unattainable? Did you reach your goal in record time, meaning next year, you need to raise the bar to make it more of a challenge for yourself.

Now you can see from the questions above why it is essential. Look, when I first started, I didn’t even think to keep a notebook with my goals. In my first year, I figured if I pulled off anything. I was doing good. When I did a lot of research to learn more, I then found out the power behind keeping a notebook to record what you have done for the year. I can tell you what I have accomplished because I was new. However, could it have been better? That is one thing I will never know for this year. But I will for the next year because I already have my goals laid out. I am just waiting for the end of the tallies for this year. Then will see if I make the right call or if I need to adjust my goals up or down.


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Should anyone have more knowledge other than listed here, please share in the comments so people can get prepared for whatever is to come? Thank you.

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