One of the staples of the writerly life is a penchant for blank books. A long, long time ago, I discovered this book at Wordsworth Books (whose old weblink no longer works because they’re under new ownership) and, though I was there to buy a gift for someone else, I couldn’t resist this purchase for myself. I wrote 3 pages, set it aside, and promptly forgot about it. I rediscovered it in August 2016 and wrote in it through April 2017, a solid 9 months. During that time I recorded quotes from the inspiring works I was reading, a practice which is in some circles referred to as keeping a commonplace book. [Reasons why you should keep a commonplace book of your own can be found at Thought Catalog and with Ryan Holiday, at Thought Co., with Aly Juma, at Self Made Scholar, and at Read Aloud Revival. And of course, Pinterest.] I also used this blank book as my monthly writing journal whenever I attended Scribble with Karen Hayes. Then I set it aside again and forgot about it for 4 months, during which time I established and began running a writing group, called Second Set (because everyone needs a second set of eyes on their work—more about that in an upcoming post). Now I’ve rediscovered my blank book once more, and content includes quotes from:
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
The Scribbles I wrote down the dates for include 10/18/16; 12/13/16; 1/10/17; 2/15/17; 4/27/17; (and most recently, my reason for seeking it out) 9/12/17. In any case, in the upcoming months I think I’d like to hit you guys with some of serious wisdom from these incredible women. And maybe I’ll even finish filling my first volume by the end of the year.