Writers have to be the kind of people who look closely at the world and what’s going on around them. We must develop our writer’s antennae and constantly tune in to the odd, poignant, and startling details.
Here are a couple of notes I collected and noted in my writer’s notebook during a recent trip. I’m always looking for good names and scored with two in one flight.
Entry one from my commonplace book:
“Good character names: Pink Wilkerson. Short for Pinkney.”
Every year, I aim to write at least a little something in a journal about the happenings of each day. I like the idea of looking back in time to see what I made of my life. What were the high points and even the low points? What did I learn from what went well and not so well? And what did I accomplish?
Looking back can help you see if you’re living the life you hoped for. And it gives clues to what you value.
But the days can get away from me, and I look back and realize my practice of noting a daily happening didn’t occur as often as I’d hoped. Until now.
Last month, I ran across the 5-Minute Journal app created by John Caddell.
In an e-mail Caddell sent after I signed up for his journal app, he wrote, “If you make a commitment to write down something about the day, every day (or every working day), you’ll find that you are capturing all sorts of information about what you do, what makes you happy, or annoyed, or increases your energy. You can find patterns in the mistakes you make, and the kind of work you find fulfilling. Seeing these allows you to do something about them.” Read more
I’m going all MacGuyver on you today to tell you about a writer’s tool that you may want when you’re in a situation where you can’t carry a handbag or have limited pocket space. Or maybe you’re floating down the Amazon River or on a camp out with no electricity for charging small electronics.
It’s the Hipster PDA (Parietal Disgorgement Aid). I learned about it from the 43 Folders website and have made Hipster PDAs for students in my writing classes.
Advantages of the Hipster PDA:
- No battery required.
- Slim size makes it great for when you’re traveling light.
- Easy and inexpensive to make. Read more