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Be prepared: Keep a notebook in your kitchen

You’ve heard it before. Always have a notebook in your pocket or purse to jot down those brilliant ideas that don’t conveniently come to you when you’re sitting in your official writing place.

But do you have a notebook in the kitchen? Just like I always seem to think of a perfect new line for a poem or a great name for a character when I’m in the shower, cooking has a way of revealing ideas that have been simmering in my subconscious.

Life has a way of happening in the kitchen. Whenever I have guests over for dinner, it seems like everyone wants to congregate in the kitchen. Some of the most memorable and emotional discussions I’ve had with family have been in the kitchen, while cooking or sitting at the kitchen table eating a meal. All these bits of life are a good source of writing material.

I once met a woman at writing conference who had four children under the age of six. “How on earth do you have time to write?” I asked. She told me she often wrote pages standing at her kitchen counter while baking cookies.

Years ago, when I lived in a different house, I let mail and other paperwork accumulate on my kitchen counter. When I moved, I decided to make it a goal to keep my counters clear of papers and junk. I did such a stellar job of it that I found I didn’t even have anything to write on. Not even a scrap of paper, much less a fully functioning pen.

Now, I’ve stashed a notebook in my cupboard and a bunch of pens in my junk drawer.  And, when I’m watching the water boil or stirring the stir fry, I’ll be ready.

What writing delights have you concocted in your kitchen?

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