Saturday, 10 January 2009

#71 – Keep your notepads

Or trading off an eyesore for information.

Spring clean
This is another one that may seem ridiculously obvious, but I am amazed at the amount of writers that will have a spring clean and throw out their notepads. As far as I’m concerned, a writer should never do this.

Information and memories
The notepads may be an eyesore, they may take up lots of space, but they also store vital information and memories.

Shelf of notepads
At home, I have a shelf that is packed full of little notepads. It looks incredibly untidy and chances are that I will never refer to most of them ever again. But I do know that if I dispose of them, then sod’s law dictates that the information in them will come in handy.

Refreshing memories and names of restaurants
Just the other week I had to dig out a four year old notepad to refresh my memory of a place. On other occasions I’ve had to use an ancient, tatty-looking one to dig out the name of a restaurant or the odd bit of information.

Information to hand
Neither was a dealbreaking situation where I would have lost the job, but I was sure glad to have those notepads to hand. If I lost them, I’d be devastated, and there’s no way they will go in any spring clean.


Ms. Lucy said...

HI. Just wondering,do you ever use a recording device, besides the notepad? Someone suggested this to me recently, and I'm not sure whether I'd feel self-conscious using this-...Then again, so many people walk around talking to themselves on their 'blue Tooth'...

Lara Dunston said...

Oh gosh, I never - ever - throw out my notepads! Depending on the commission I might collect a notepad per book (if I'm writing a guidebook) - however, I'm in Australia at the moment researching 2 guidebooks and at the moment I have 2 notebooks! But I will then use that research later when I'm writing stories for magazines and newspapers. They're invaluable.

Because I'm constantly on the road I actually cart many of them (and those other vital research pieces I can't get in a digital form) around in a separate carry-on bag. And boy is that heavy!

Ms Lucy - my husband use an i-touch to record his notes. He's a professional photographer as well as a writer and he stores images and tear sheets on it too (actually, he's just written a post about this on his blog 'Wine, wide angles and wanderlust'). But I just can't type fast enough on the thing yet - I've heard a rumour Apple are going to bring one out with a slightly larger keyboard so I'm going to wait and see.

Ms. Lucy said...

Oh thanks for this. Could you keep us posted when you get more info on the Apple gadget? Sounds like a 'must have'.