I collect words and sentences like some people collect salt and pepper shakers, stamps, or paintings. I love words and sentences for their sounds and ideas. My commonplace books are home to poems, quotes, and snippets of text that inspire me. If you’re interested in learning more about commonplace books, read, A twist on the writer’s journal: The commonplace book.
For a glimpse at recent entries from my commonplace book, check out the excerpts below. Then feel free to share something from your commonplace book.
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Cesar Cruz Read more
I was on a reorganizing binge recently and realized I had way too many notebooks, even for me, a notebookaholic. They’re full of notes from writing workshops and observations about life that I felt compelled to write down in case I could turn them into a story or poem. My next rainy day project is to review them and pull out the ideas to spark some new writing. If you’re like me and love journals, you might like these blog post from our archives.
A twist on the writer’s journal: The commonplace book is another approach to creating a journal.
Writing in a journal is a powerful way to create the bits and pieces that become literature. See how these writers did it.
For excellent tips about using a journal to record our evolution as writers, read, Two great reasons to keep a writing journal.
Do you ever get in a slump with your writing? As in, some event or situation literally sucks the life out of you? Are you clawing and scratching for any minute you can to write? That’s me right now. I’ve barely even been able to “think” about writing since I’ve been working on an impossible, immovable deadline in my day job that required me to spend every waking minute on it.
So now that the project is about to launch, I’m looking for a way to get back into my writing groove.
My blogging partner Carol gave me the book, “Wreck this Journal.” It’s time to get it out. Read more
Today my boss barfed on me his unhappiness at having to come back from vacation. And of course, as my stomach clenched, I couldn’t help but think about what great material I was getting out of the situation.
As writers, we must suffer for our art. As my blood pressure climbed, I watched how his face turned scarlet – noting what was red from the sunburn he’d brought back from his vacation and what was due to his meltdown. Read more
I’ve never needed a reason to buy a new notebook, but I have one today.
I’ve decided to start a new commonplace book.
My writing addictions list wouldn’t be complete without adding “journals.” I have separate notebooks for book projects, story ideas, my tiny notebook — in case I’m out without a larger notebook — and think of something I must record immediately.
Years ago, I heard a writer speak at a writer’s conference about his commonplace book, and I began keeping my own. Commonplace books emerged in the 15th century. People would note interesting ideas about books they’d read so they could use them for conversation starters. I no longer remember the name of the speaker, but I remember what he said (because I noted it in my commonplace book): Read more