Words, Words, Words

Do you ever find yourself jotting down random words at a moment’s notice–not sentences, but just disconnected words?

I use little moleskine notebooks to write in while I’m away from my laptop.  It comes into use on the subways, in stores, on the street, and yeah, even at home just for taking notes while reading, etc.  It’s my brainstorm and development space.

I use the front of the book to take real ideas down, to develop characters, to pose questions, and to make story line notes.  And I use the back for words.  Some words just for their sounds or meanings.  Others as part of a process of finding names within.  Names of characters and places…

I just went over to Barnes and Noble today to buy another notebook; mine’s coming close to depletion.  And now that I actually find myself doing real research, I got an extra little notebook–half the size at 80 pages–just for research-related questions.

I know there are folks who’ll say that the moleskine books are gimmicks, but you know what: they’re strong, flexible, open properly and don’t crack.  Plus they have that awesome band that allows you to keep it shut tight and also hold your pen inside when you’re done writing.  What’s not to love?  🙂

Well, okay, the price.  The 192 page books are $10.95.  Two 80 pagers cost $8.95.  But I’m willing to make the investment.  They’re just that convenient, useful and..awesome.  🙂

*sigh*

I love writing!  I love researching!  I love little moleskine books! 🙂

For a laugh, check out this site:  Stuff White People Like:  Moleskine Notebooks.

Prometheus at Rockefeller Center, New York City

Prometheus at Rockefeller Center, New York City

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About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
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13 Responses to Words, Words, Words

  1. ralfast says:

    I’m all about the white legal notepads myself (ruled and white, no yellow, please) and Pilot G-2 0.7 blue pens. Can’t write without them.

    • sputnitsa says:

      Hey Ralfast! Do you take the notepads with you everywhere?

      What I love about the notebooks is that the pages don’t fall out–I do have a small white ruled pad which I used one day, and although I like it, the words seem so exposed there! I thought to use it for research questions but I ended up buying the new moleskine instead. Do you have a file cabinet or someplace to keep old pads/paper?

      I used to have a preferred pen, but then they ran out one day and all I had was this thick purple pen. I couldn’t believe that’s all I had, but it was, so I made do. Now I can use anything without worrying over-much.

  2. Yarnspnr says:

    Hey! They’re cheaper than a laptop. I tend to do the front/back thingie as well. Space gets used up quicker but hey, it beats disorganization. Tell me, do you transfer the words to you’re computer when you get home or do you have to go back through all those used books to find that one ‘special’ word? 🙂

    • matthewgraybosch says:

      They might be cheaper than a laptop, but their capacity and functionality are both far more stringently limited. I’ve never been able to program a moleskine. 🙂

      • sputnitsa says:

        Beh, the program’s in the mind! 🙂

        Besides, I’d add that the moleskine notebooks can be tucked into my JEANS if I want and can gallivant about town with me, serving the book at a moment’s notice or even without one. Whereas my laptop cannot quite do that.

        I can be rained on and not worry; I can travel lightly, I can be discreet. I don’t have to wait for it to load and don’t need electricity to write to my heart’s content.

        Yes, 100% little moleskine notebooks RAWK and rule 🙂

    • sputnitsa says:

      Yay! Someone else with the front/back method!

      Do you really think space gets used up quicker? What I do is I pile the words in. I’ll draw columns, allowing more and more words to fit in. Generally a word that sparks more tends to take more space. It’s a right royal mess in one way, but it works.

      As for transferring the words, it takes a while before they make it in. For instance, one manor in my book has gone by maybe three names I’ve tried and crossed out. In my little notebook, new names are still being considered, but not until one screams at me will I put it in the WIP itself. So my current manor in the WIP has a name that doesn’t work right, but I know its name is in development in my little booklet.

      When I write, I skim through the front of my book first to pick up the important new points to put in the book. And then when I stop, I turn to the back and flip through to see if something sparks.

      What about you? How do you do it? *all ears* 🙂

  3. Beth says:

    I bought my first moleskine back in June (a 240 pager). I haven’t used it yet (my current notebook is one that my parents bought me from Florence). I like their durability, and the narrowness of the lines. Perfect for someone with small writing like myself!
    I’ve had people tell me its pretentious to use moleskine, but I just ignore them. Notebooks are tools, like philips head screwdrivers and saws.

    I’m not a fan of the spiral bound, college ruled notebooks; I used three of them for writing journals, but I didn’t like how they kept falling apart on me.

    I work in a front-to-back method; it isn’t terribly organized, as I’ll be jotting down research, character sketches, rough ideas for scenes, etc. But I date everything, so I have an idea about when something came about.

    • sputnitsa says:

      Yay! I think you’ll like it once you do. What size (dimensions) did you get? I have a small one.

      I was in Florence a few years back and saw all the gorgeous stores selling beautiful notebooks and pens and quills… I didn’t have the money to buy any, but they were just so beautiful and evocative. 🙂

      This is the first time I’ve kept a writing notebook that’s really stuck with me, and that, when the time came, I had no qualms at all putting down the money for more. Let me know when you try ’em! 🙂

  4. I have two journals: My writing one, and my dream one. Yes, I keep the stationary store on my street very busy. 🙂 I love all the different artistic covers. I haven’t bought a moleskin one (yet), but can see their appeal.

  5. Lillian C. says:

    My writing journals have kind of fallen to the wayside, in favor of random bits of paper. School’s starting to take over my life, so I don’t get nearly as many ideas as I used to. I’m a lot more disorganized now, but it works for me at the moment.

    I think I’ve written down just plain words before, but not often. Sometimes I’ll play around with names or titles, but, again, not often. And I’m way too OCD to write front-to-back. I freak out if things aren’t in chronological order. I’m weird like that.

    • sputnitsa says:

      Hahaha! You could date both back and first 🙂 Since the back of my book is really just words/names/titles, I don’t need it dated. And even the front doesn’t require dates, for me. But I do write word counts/page counts & dates, so I know approximately where in the book I was when ideas and vision changed.

      I guess another reason I don’t need it dated is because the story may shift at any point of the storyline any time. Ie I’m yet to find the beginning I really like.

      I know what you mean about life intruding into one’s idea-zone. 🙂 Good luck with school and writing!! 🙂

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