Notebook Woes: Slice of Life #sol19 11/31

Today, I borrowed a SPARK from Paula Bourque who blogs at LitCoachLady and whose latest book, SPARK!, focuses on quickwrites in the elementary classroom. If you’re stuck for a writing idea, be sure to visit Paula’s blog where she is sharing a different prompt every day in March.

Here’s today’s prompt:

A simple quick write SPARK to encourage greater mindfulness is to stop and jot what you are experiencing in a given moment. Tap into your senses and notice where your mind takes you. This meditative quick write can be quite relaxing in a natural space or stimulating in a more chaotic space.

I only have this pink pen to write with on this brown paper. My writer’s notebook never made it upstairs. I am trying to transition anyway–from the Precise pens I’ve always written with to these colorful Ink Joys, from the unlined eggshell Cachet spirals–lined up on a shelf across the room–over ten years of notebooks–to these unlined lay-flat Kraft paper notebooks.

But every time I write in my “new” notebook, I feel the fatness of the Ink Joy press uncomfortably into the indentation across my middle finger. I can’t seem to hold the pen loose enough. My hand becomes stiff as I write. I feel the drag of ink across the brown paper. This is slow paper, fine for methodically writing lists or taking notes, but my words can’t glide fast enough to capture the sparks of thinking in a writer’s notebook. I miss the smoother tooth of my old notebook, the slender shape of the Precise pen that sails across the page.

I try to remember why I wanted a change in the first place. Notebook envy. Pretty pen envy. Trying to break the compulsive thinking that told me only this notebook and this pen could be a writer’s notebook. But now I am wondering why meddle with what works?






12 responses to “Notebook Woes: Slice of Life #sol19 11/31”

  1. Kelly Connolly Avatar
    Kelly Connolly

    Thanks for the inspiration! Much needed today.

  2. TammyB Avatar

    Do you typically use only one notebook
    at a time?

  3. arjeha Avatar

    Sometimes subconsciously we are resistant to change. Sometimes only by trying something new do we realize that we like the old standard better. Sometimes it just takes a while for that something new to become our comfortable old standby.

  4. livinglife816287820 Avatar

    I understand the frustration of a pen moving too slowly across the certain type of paper to capture your thoughts. How frustrating! Maybe you need to change either the pen or the paper, just one change at a time maybe??

  5. paulabourque Avatar

    I can SOOOO appreciate your observation today. Sometimes I want to try out new pens and papers and when I find that “write combination” it hits a true sweet spot. I also have been finding that I do more writing when I am not worried about messing up my ‘beautiful’ notebooks. Lynda Barry (comic and author) taught me how to embrace the composition book with her book SYLLABUS. Thanks for the shout out today, too Elisabeth!

  6. Trina Haase Avatar
    Trina Haase

    This is a beautiful slice and observation! I have a soft spot for colored Flair pens and there’s a certain type of notebook I like from CVS. I am trying to use up notebooks and pens I have first though before buying new…

  7. mschiubookawrites Avatar

    So nice to know that others obsess about notebooks and pens as well! Personally I love the notebook page pic you shared, though I understand it has to “feel” right. All the best finding the “write combination.”

  8. Amanda Potts Avatar

    Mmm… an entire reflection on the wrong pen. I can write with an unsatisfactory pen, but the right one is a thing of joy. Ink Joys are good, but not my favourite – and unfortunately it’s almost 10 and now I can’t remember my favourite. Well, here’s hoping you either learn to love the new paper and pen situation or give up and go back to the tried & true!

  9. Ramona Avatar

    Indeed! Why meddle with what works? Love this peek into your writing woes.

  10. franmcveigh Avatar

    So much fun to “peek” into a writer’s life to see what puts obstacles in the way. Pens that really flow are important just as keyboards that work quietly and with the “same” touch!!! ❤

  11. readingteachsu Avatar

    I had the same envy for your old notebook and pen so your slice definitely works.

  12. Cathy Avatar

    Isn’t it funny how the right pen and the right notebook matter. I feel like it is an eternal quest.

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