Weaving Gold

Mokosha, Anastasia Sophia, and Me, Natalia . . . while the books are written

The Writing Tool that Changed My Life

on June 19, 2013

I’ve always known that I would write a book someday. Over the years, I had hundreds of book ideas, yet none of them wanted to get written to the extent that I sat and wrote.

In the fall of 2009, while listening to a teleseminar with Lee Pound, a book idea dropped into my head, and I knew what I was going to write. A few days later, I signed up for a WriteShop with Julie Tallard Johnson. In my first session with Julie, I learned a simple, and essential, writer’s tool for capturing ideas before they escape. It may not seem revolutionary, but the practice of always carrying a Writer’s Notebook made me a writer.

Ready to Capture Your Genius, Wisdom, and Insights? Here’s how:

1. Buy a small notebook.

I love 3.5 x 5.5 inch moleskines with unlined pages.  I find that if I choose to live outside the lines, it best that my paper not be lined. Of course, any notebook will do. Choose a size that will fit into your purse or pocket. Be sure that it is large enough that you can write a few lines on the page.

2. Always carry the notebook – and a pencil.

You never know when your best ideas will come. If you prefer, buy several and leave one in your purse, one in the kitchen, one in the car, one beside your bed.

3. Pay attention and, when the idea comes, write it down immediately.

Your mind processes 2292 thoughts per hour.  That’s thirty-eight thoughts every minute.  Inspiration will quickly be displaced by a mental shopping list or a screaming child. Write your idea down immediately. If you are driving, pull over and write it down. If you are in the shower, stick out a hand and write it down. Don’t let it get away.

4. Listen in your sleep.

Many people process and receive information in their dreams. Keep a notebook on your nightstand so that you can capture your dreams too.

When do you get your best ideas?

Solutions to writing dilemmas, ideas for projects, and resolutions for ongoing problems pop into my head while I’m showering, driving, preparing meals, or walking. Until recently, those nuggets disappeared forever a few seconds later. Now, I know how to capture them.

It is helpful to take time to breathe, to walk, to do what you love to access this wisdom.  Whether you believe that it is within you or that it comes from beyond, it is there for you.  I know you’ve heard it before. Listen. Write it down. Then let it serve and guide you.

My notebooks became my greatest tool and resource while writing. I self-published Swan Mothers: Discovering Our True Selves by Parenting Uniquely Magnificent Children in October 2012.

3 responses to “The Writing Tool that Changed My Life

  1. I totally agree that a writer needs a notebook (or an audio recorder, or *something*) close by at all times.

    In my experience:
    :: Novel titles come mere seconds before sleep.
    :: Dreams contain information, plots, and all sorts of disguised treasures.
    :: Snatches of dialogue arrive from strong-willed characters whilst I’m in the bathroom (that’s from fictional characters, not members of my family!)
    :: Shadowy ideas dance around at the periphery of the mind – if not recorded there and then, they would never become that next 4000 word short story that ends up being the one your readers love the best.

    The mind is a curious and mysterious place, and we need to make the most of it!

    Excellent post! 🙂


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