your brain on paper.

Since I’m an admitted pen & paper addict, it should come as no surprise that I liked this article:

The Pocket Notebooks of 20 Famous Men

I’ve mentioned before that I write my first drafts in notebooks, but I also carry around a small Moleskine-type notebook, to hold brain scraps that would be lost otherwise.  I’m not the most organized person in the world, so I need a repository for all the information that would be lost to entropy otherwise.  This little notebook isn’t for first drafts–instead, it holds ideas, notes, lists of stuff, phone numbers and addresses of friends, ink and nib writing samples, and bits of research for novels.  It’s sort of my outboard brain, and whatever else I’m working on, the little notebook is nearby for reference or to put down ideas that need offloading.

Now, I’m nobody famous, and I don’t expect to be asked to donate my notebooks to the archives at Really Expensive University some day, but it’s still interesting to see that a bunch of smart and famous people had the same habit…and that they used their notebooks for much the same purpose.  There’s something about writing down an idea on paper that makes the mind get a hold of it better.  Fixing it with a pen lets the brain consider it in more dimensions, like plopping down a blob of clay on a pottery wheel.  You can look at it from all angles, prod it, and slowly form it into shape.


6 thoughts on “your brain on paper.

  1. Al T. says:

    “Now, I’m nobody famous” – LOL, not yet. 🙂

  2. I realize that Picasso was a genius, but that notebook page where he laid out the rough composition for Guernica looks exactly like something I drew in elementary school. Seriously add in a couple of spaceships and you’re there.

  3. Jay G. says:

    My notebook’s a little more utilitarian, but it serves the same purpose. I will actually plan out my week’s blogging on Sunday afternoon, with lines for four out of five entries Monday through Friday.

    Some weeks, only the “opening” post gets filled in; others give me a week’s worth of blogging in advance.

    For on-the-go, though, I find myself using the Notepad feature of the iPhone for quick notes on blog-worthy material.

    Glad to know I at least share some common traits with real writers…

  4. Mike H. says:

    Which brand of notebook do you use? Is it actually Moleskine? or perhaps Rhodia?

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