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writers notebook, writers journal, moleskine, nanowrimo, inspiration, writing inspiration, ideas, muse, writing muse, worldbuilding, fiction, authors, writers, #amwriting, #amediting, self-published authorWinter is coming! And so is NaNoWriMo. How prepared are you? If you are going to be participating in NaNo this year (and why wouldn’t you be? It’s a great way to get out some raw material), the best way to start preparing is to get yourself a spiffy new writer’s notebook.

The writer’s notebook is an essential tool for creativity. Every writer should have a notebook. Without a notebook, a writer is just a dreamer. It would be like a photographer not carrying his or her camera. Without a camera, a photographer is just a person, just a tourist, just a hopeful dreamer. Just as a painter without a paintbrush is just a person with an idea and a blank canvas.

Imagine what would happen if the paparazzi didn’t carry their cameras everywhere. There’d be no Kim Kardashian or Lindsay Lohan gossip—ever (wouldn’t that be nice, though?). But that’s not the case—there are always cameras clicking, flashing, recording every single detail, every blink, every breath. Those photographers miss nothing. Why? Because they ALWAYS have their camera. Their camera is the heart of their craft (yes, even paparazzi-ing is a craft). And the writer’s notebook is the heart of our craft.

Writers who carry notebooks tend to be more creative, struggle less with getting stuck or dealing with writer’s block, and never run out of ideas. The writer’s notebook can be used for many things and is a great way to reflect back various ideas, delve deeper into the heart of your writing, and record thoughts, feelings, and desires regarding writing.

You can use your notebook to jot down ideas, snatches of conversation, observations about people, favorite words, beautiful or funny descriptions, character quirks, phrases you love, setting ideas, and more. You can even use a separate notebook for each story or book you’re writing. And you can buy a shiny new notebook, or create one yourself—whatever you like it to be, but without it, all the possibilities that exist within each moment pass you by because you have no way to record them.

But, you might say, I don’t need a notebook, I just sit down at my computer and produce amazing best sellers from thin air. In which case, the rest of us might not like you very much (Kidding! If you can do that, you’re pretty awesome.).

It’s not that you can’t write (and write well) without having a notebook. It’s that it can improve your craft in amazing ways. It’s an extension of your creativity. Think of it as storage locker for ideas, thoughts, manifestations, and all the amazing things that come out of a writer’s mind. What’s better is that it’s portable, it forces you to get more physical with your writing, and it puts pen to paper your very raw, unedited ideas—where your true spark of creativity comes from.

Do you have a writer’s notebook? If so, do you prefer a particular type (composition, spiral, binder, Moleskine, etc.)? We’d love to know!