Where I write

Maybe it’s a sign of my age or limited cognitive capacity, but I do all of my thought organizing on paper, not in some computer application. It just doesn’t feel as accessible to me if I have to open a program and scroll around looking for each bit that may be important to me at that moment. Add to this that I may want to look for information in several documents or programs, and there’s no way I can fit everything on the screen. My actual writing goes into a computer, yes, but all of the character descriptions, time lines, visual ideas, and back story goes on paper. After learning the hard way that paper can run away from its owner, I now prefer that such paper be bound together with other paper and protected with covers, so I am a notebook kind of guy. And while I don’t prefer the color black for things around the house, I do like it in a notebook. It’s no nonsense and not fussy. I don’t need a Power Puff Grrl or fancy stitching to look at me every time I want to write something down. I just want to write it down.

AmPad Gold FIber notebook, Miquelrius graph-lined notebook, Moleskine notebook

These are the three I’ve used in the past seven or eight years:

  • AmPad Gold Fiber notebook—This moderately large notebook, about an inch thick, has lined pages, a bookmark ribbon, and a hardcover binding (sewn through the fold, for those who care to know). It’s been jammed in my briefcase hundreds of times now, dropped, stepped on by a small child who admittedly didn’t weigh much, and after all of this abuse, it’s held up rather well. The pages feel substantial but perhaps let a bit too much ink show through on the other side. I do tend toward roller ball and felt-tip pens these days, so perhaps I’m being a bit hard on it. But overall it’s a good sized book, I like the rounded corners and reinforced edges, and as I’m one to dog-ear a corner on purpose, like that the paper holds up to me.
  • Miquelrius graph-lined notebook—Two jobs ago I hired a woman who showed up on her first day with this notebook, and she brought it to every meeting, copiously copying down whatever we were saying in case it would prove important later. No worries, she could have written a new bible in there, it was so thick with paper. I asked her where she got it, saying I’d never seen a notebook like it, and she pointed me to the tiny bookstore in town that stocked them. They come lined, blank, and with a square graph. I picked graph because I find the light blue lines helpful but not overpowering on the page, and sometimes I write down diagrams instead of words, which I find a graph aids. My employee, on the other hand, had a blank book. That’s as daring and carefree to me as a hang glider. This notebook has two inches of paper and an impenetrable glue perfect binding. It’s got a real leather cover that survived a late-night attack from one of my cats, but it is really heavy, weighing in around 2.5 pounds. It is good at letting me sneak a business card or other paper into it and not batting an eye, but who could tell anything else was in there for all the sheets of paper?
  • Moleskine ruled pocket notebook—Straight from Hemingway to hipsters to me. This is the notebook that people tease me about, but it doesn’t just play at being pocket-sized. It really is pocket-sized. I’m not as much of a purist with this notebook; any given Moleskine in my possession will have story ideas, grocery lists, character thoughts, directions to a city hours away, and my always-evolving writing to do list. It has, of course, a bookmark ribbon and an elastic band that keeps the book shut when say, you’re on an African elephant hunt. I shudder to think of Hemingway hunting elephants. What an ass of an avocation. At least we agree on a notebook. I’m also a fan of the little pocket in the back, and I’ve used it to collect receipts while I’m at a conference, or store a business card or something until I get home. It is hard bound (thread bound, this one) with a hard leather cover and rather thick pages so there isn’t a lot of bleed-through. But I do burn through a Moleskine quickly. Must be all those directions for Portland and Seattle.

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3 Comments on “Where I write”

  1. Heckboy
    May 19, 2010 at 11:23 am #


    What a better way to prove that you have a big penis than find something with a bigger penis and kill it?

    • Heckboy
      May 19, 2010 at 11:25 am #

      In reply to : I shudder to think of Hemingway hunting elephants. What an ass of an avocation

      It ate my quote!

      • evmaroon
        May 19, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

        I was wondering what the hell you were talking about, and then I figured out the context. Whew! Yes, why not eliminate a species to satisfy one’s own insecure ego?

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