This is just a quick reminder to myself mostly, with the hope that it may connect with others:
- You are doing your best and your best sometimes isn’t perfect, but it’s still your best. That’s all you can ever do under any circumstances.
- Your journals and planners and notebooks and sketchbooks are for you. They may not be Instagram pretty, but if they work for you, don’t change them one iota. Some people create BOJO pages for social media, others create messy, working pages for themselves in terrible handwriting. Don’t let the first make you feel inadequate about the second.
- If you think that tool X, bag Y or pen Z will make you a better writer, artist or human, think again. If you think that they will help make creating more of a joy, then feel free to treat yourself to them. It’s hard enough to sit down and start working as it is, so if you’ve discovered something that will give you joy in the process, feel free to silence any criticism, internal or external, and move on.
I like my journals to be filled with little sketches and bits and pieces that I collect here and there (labels, business cards, etc). It brings the entries to life, especially when I read through them later on.
So for instance yesterday I created a 3 minute sketch of a group of ladies enjoying themselves at a local cafe:
And here’s today’s page, about to be filled with notes:
So if you go to lunch somewhere, remember to grab their business card so that you can stick it in your notebook later.
I love reading about how other people use their notebooks and pens/pencils, so I decided to take the time to list what I’m currently using and how:
- Field Notes Front Page – used in landscape mode with a Blackwing 16.2 to take notes while I work through the third draft of my novel. Something about the format of this notebook appeals to me, especially in landscape mode. I ignore the lines completely (easy to do, since they’re so faint). Also works well while I’m typing, since it’s thin enough not to get in the way. I just put it below my keyboard, a pause to jot a quick note when I need to.
- Field Notes Dime Novel – I use this as a catch-all and home to do list notebook, using whichever fountain pen I have inked at the moment.
- Moleskine Star Wars Lightsaber Duel – used as my daily journal, coupled with a Ti Arto with a uni-ball Signo 0.5 gel refill (UMR-85) and a Scotch glue stick to paste bits and bobs in. I’ve been using this combo for about two years now (with different Moleskine lined notebooks), and I couldn’t be happier with it.
- Moleskine Large Squared – used as my “bullet journal” at work. I’ve simplified the bullet journal system (removed the calendars entirely) and it’s now a daily checklist + work journal that serves to answer two questions: what am I going to do today, and what have I actually done. Keeps me sane and happy, especially when outages derail my day. I use a Zebra G-301 pen with this that I bought in Atlanta in 2012, and it is still going strong. I go through about a refill every two months, so this isn’t the most economical of systems…
- Moleskine pocket square reporter – a new one for me. I’m using it to keep a running food journal, using a Retro 51 tornado slim graphite filled with a parker gel refill.
- Paper for Fountain Pens notebook – together with sheafs of Tomoe River paper, this is what I use for my writing notes, quick drafts, and when I’m working through plot holes. I use whatever fountain pen I have going at the time, usually two pens with two different inks, Neil Gaiman style.
- Moleskine two-go – I’m using this as my reading journal. I log all the books I read here. Previously I used two Field Notes Arts notebooks, but I ran out of them, so I moved to this. Using a Karas Kustoms grey RenderK in this, coupled with a Caran d’Ache Bicolor pencil to highlight things, and whatever other pencil I have laying around, for extra notes.
- Baron Fig Three Legged Jester Confidant – using this to track my resolutions for several years now. Used to be my daily journal.
- Moleskine softcover squared pocket reporter – using this to keep track of story ideas. I write in it with whatever is on hand.
A large pile of notebooks
Getting ready to draw.
Hair tie, Moleskine, Kuretake disposable pocket brush pen extra fine.
I accidentally broke a clothing pin today, and instead of immediately chucking it to the trash, I decided to play with it for a while.
Moleskine blank Star Wars notebook, Zebra brush pen, and half a clothing pin from IKEA.