“… the ability to make a note when something came to mind was the difference between being able to write and not being able to write.”
—Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion imputes this insight to her husband John Dunne. I learned it in a creative writing programme, but I knew it before. I am a regular note taker, and lists are my favourite. Without my notebook and planner I’d be lost. Everything from phone numbers and tasks to fulfil, to things to look up, movies to watch, quotes to remember and experiences I made, ideas, dreams, recipes – everything ends up in one of my notebooks.
Get it out of your head
What is on paper is out of my head and I am more open for more new input. I don’t have to worry about forgetting something.
I go through it every day and it keeps being impressive what I find. I have deleted all these things from my head, so it’s always a little surprise to find what I wrote down the day before.
My notebooks are my source of inspiration: life is my source of inspiration and my life is in my notebooks.
They are so important to me that I had to ask a friend I had stayed with to send it back to me because I had forgotten it at her place. In fact this post derives from a note I took afterwards and rediscovered again.
How to take notes: paper, pen, go!
You can practice taking notes by going outside, and simply noting down what you see.
Taking notes makes me more aware of my own thoughts. Because every other idea that passes my brain will be noted.
Are you taking notes? Let us know in the comments!
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