“Keep a notebook” that’s what they tell you at the writers classes – “keep a notebook and write everyday” good advice, I’m not denying that it is good advice and that a writer, no matter what their chosen form, should keep a notebook. But what happens to those notebooks? I’ll tell you what happens! They end up in a box, on a shelf, under a bed, by the side of a bed, in a box labelled stuff in an attic only accessible by a ladder you lost years before so that now the notebooks are tossed up there with abandon!!! From here they quickly and certainly become forgotten.

My notebooks now fill a large shelf – I have notebooks stretching back eleven years and I have no idea what’s in them! So the other day I took it upon myself to read through some and rediscovered some ideas, ideas that had been trapped between those tight-lipped pages. I’m sure I’m not alone – hands up if you have a mass of notebooks propping something up in your house. Now here’s what I suggest you do – read through your old notebooks, pull out those forgotten gems. I intend to try and get through at least one a month and am determined to not let future notebooks become dumping grounds. I shall make it a new habit to review all notebooks once complete and maybe even number the pages and draw up a contents page on the front via a big fluorescent sticker.

Ideas, good ones are rare beasts and need to be carefully stored – it’s no good making all that effort to note down that fabulous plot in the middle of the night if you’re just going to sling it into a black hole dolled up as a book – I wonder how many great ideas are lost out there in notebooks waiting for the whimsy of an over-eager de-cluttering session to send them forever to the landfill! Errrrrrrrrr!!!!!

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