Writers should never be allowed to run unsupervised through an office supply store.

Um, well, this writer should never be allowed to run unsupervised through an office supply store. (Or a home improvement store, but that’s another blog post.)

Hubby and I went out to brunch this morning before going on some errands. Had to hit Lowe’s, Bed, Bath, & Beyond (Our Budget, as we call it), Petsmart, Best Buy…and Staples.

Now, many of you are already nodding your heads, eyes glazed over in ecstasy, I’m sure. Office supply stores are like honey to bears, for some writers. And I really did have a valid reason to go to Staples. I was in search of spiral notebooks and a new stylus for my iPad, because with the screen protector I’m using, my current cheapie stylus felt like nails on a chalkboard to me. (Again, yet another blog post.)

No, I don't have a problem with notebooks! *furtively glancing around*
No, I don’t have a problem with notebooks! *furtively glancing around*

See, I don’t write my stories longhand. For starters, my arthritis won’t allow it, and I’m a speed typist, so it frustrates me to try to write as fast as I think when I can type far faster to keep up. I compose almost exclusively on my laptop. But part of my process is keeping a spiral notebook handy for each series I’m currently writing, as well as a “miscellaneous” notebook, so I can jot stuff down, make mind maps, timelines, etc. Sometimes if I’m stuck, doing a little freehand writing helps loosen stuff up. I might not even use the ideas or things I write down, but it just helps me switch gears.

I like college ruled, and the one-subject size. Add to this the problem I discovered that some kinds of paper are a biatch to write on, they have a different texture and don’t “feel” right to me.

*glaring* Shut. Up.

Apparently, however, unless you’re prepared to take out a mortgage on your home, you can only buy them inexpensively in multi-packs during the back-to-school period in late summer. Then the little fuckers are like 25 for $1.

But no, not now. The decent ones are around $5 each.


Yes, I realize I could have gone to Walmart.

No, I did NOT want to go to Walmart.

Yes, that is ANOTHER blog post.


The experiment.

So, I decided to get creative. I opted to buy a few binders, some college-ruled paper (including some colored paper which was wide ruled but oh well) and some dividers. I’m going to switch to that format. I can fit the existing notebooks (most of them) in the biggest binder, and then use the smaller ones for series work, split up by dividers. In the long run, this might work out better in some ways. I’m on my second “miscellaneous” notebook in a couple of years, and I’ve had to rip pages out and staple them into series notebooks once they got to that point. No more ripping/stapling.

We’ll see how that goes.

Still say I don't have an addiction.
I still say I don’t have an addiction. *glaring*

At least I have my favorite Dr. Grip pen, as well as several backups (and refills). You have NO idea how long it took me to find a pen that really felt good to me, both in my hand as well as while writing.

I mean, yes, I have my iPad and a decent Logitech keyboard case for it. But sometimes, I need the ability to write longhand. It’s especially handy if we go to a restaurant and I have a few minutes to jot stuff down, or in the car, or in bed.

But, believe me, I will be stocking up on CASES of spiral notebooks come next back-to-school time.

So, my fellow writers. Do you have any specific things you like/need/have to have so your brain doesn’t explode in your writing armory? Give me a shout out in the comments and let me know I’m not the only crazy one alone.

Pick a color, any color…
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7 thoughts on “Pick a color, any color…

  • December 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I thought I was the only one who had that problem in Staples or in our local hardware store (all those screws and clips and neat pulleys must be good for something). The right pen and the right paper; a new notebook or the right pencil; they are all good for inspiring the writing and getting the memories to flow.
    Scrivener does that for me too so thank you for talking about it. It’s been great for my scattery fractured memories. I can poke them in the right place as they strike once I put up the framework of what I wanted.
    Meantime I stay out of Staples unless I have a list of atleast three things. Of course I always come out with more. 🙂

    • December 16, 2013 at 8:45 am

      LOL! I LOVE Scrivener. When my beloved SuperNotecard software basically farked itself after an update, I was really upset. I cannot write in a linear fashion most of the time. I write the strongest scenes first to get them out of my head and fill in around them. So I’m glad I tried Scrivener. I love it, adore it and Scapple. I use Scapple a lot as well, importing stuff I do in there into Scrivener. (I also will transcribe stuff I write in my notebooks into Scapple and import into Scrivener.)

      Of course, I also spent too much money at Lowe’s yesterday. LOL I got presents for my dad, as well as with all the discounted tools this time of year, put together a small toolbag for shooting, which I’d been putting off. (My main toolbag is, no joke, a fifty-pound behemouth.) So technically I SAVED a shit-ton of money on tools yesterday…yes, that’s it, I SAVED money… *glancing around*

  • December 16, 2013 at 7:22 am

    LOL! OH NO ! you are bringing it out in the open! I do not write books but I scrapbook and do Mixed Media Art Journaling. I have a small notebook in my handbag for notes, shopping lists, to do lists or anything else that comes up while I am out and about. I LOVE paper, and I always have to run my fingers across it… it might have a coarse surface, be shiny, embossed and so many more. Want to buy me a gift? a notebook/journal or some paper will always work. I have a large notebook by my laptop to write notes, quotes or ideas for scrapbooking/art journal pages. In the last week I have bought 8X10″ grid moleskin journal, a small 7x5ish grid moleskin journal, a small and large art journal (comes from the USA)all for project on my to do list. I also bought a large A4 notebook as my computer one is almost full, scrapbook papers and a bunch of coloured manila folders with seven ‘pages’ in each one for me to turn into a travel journal for our next trip to the USA next year…. so maybe there is a group for folk like us with notebook/paper addiction LOL! Yesterday I went to a ‘Treasure Market’ looking for a dictionary for me to tear out pages to use on art journal pages… I wanted the dictionary to be old, discoloured, the paper thick and rough to touch.. not thin like tissue paper of new dictionaries – so there I was opening all the dictionaries running my fingers down the pages.. after a few minutes the stall owner came and asked if I needed help and then gave me a tiny smile after I explained what I wanted… I did buy two, one because of the lettering imprint on the cover which will make a lovely altered book one day, meanwhile I will use the pages for something else…. So Tymber hold your head up, don’t worry about people looking at you funny, you are quite normal and have a crowd just like you ….. and just maybe they were looking at someone behind you… LOL!

    • December 16, 2013 at 8:46 am

      Hahaha! I’m glad I’m not alone, Vanessa. 🙂 I’ve never gotten big into scrapbooking (although I did start and have a few things) but I have tubs of yarn, and even more tubs of quilting fabric. LOL I mean TUBS of it.

      I also collect Hallmark ornaments, but that’s sort of not the same. LOL

  • December 16, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I gotta say that I don’t write long hand a lot anymore, but I do like to have a notebook for jotting things down when inspiration strikes and there is no computer around. Back to school sales still give me the chills. I LOVE that stuff (I am such a geek)! I will say that I am screwed if I ever lose my flashdrive. There have been moments of sheer panic when it wasn’t where I thought it should be. Right now, my writing is strictly something I do for myself, so terror strikes when it it out of my reach!

  • December 16, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    My must haves are wide ruled loose leaf paper & post-its. Also my pilot pen…not the pen company but a pen made for airplane pilots. It has a lighted nib so you can write in the dark. Keep it by the bed for those late night jottings.

  • December 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    You are not alone. I’m not even a writer and I have my notebooks. Same single subject, college rule. I have one where I keep my to do list and other “daily” notes. I have one for homeschool notes. One for my school notes. One for notes related to work. Also, I’m glad I’m not the only one that realizes that different paper feels different when you use it. I also have notebooks for different stuff too like keeping track of my blogging in my “real homeschool” live. Notebook for digital scrapping notes. So you are so not alone.

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