How to Make a Writer's Work Notebook


Vision 78


How to Make a Writer's Work Notebook


Christine Kwasniewski


Copyright © 2015, Christine Kwasniewski, All Rights Reserved

Every writer should have somewhere to store ideas so they don't get lost.  A writer's notebook is a place to do that.  I originally found this idea in a book called Notebook Know how. I also found several videos on YouTube with instructions on how to make a writer's notebook but they were directed towards school- aged children. I created this version of a writer's note book to keep me organized as an writer organized so I can meet my writing goals, for me that, is one of the a more difficult challenges.

Any notebook will do; the more pages the better. I typically find that a composition notebook works best for this because it's small and has a sewn spine so the pages can't be torn out. But regardless of the notebook you choose, make sure it fits your style. There are some pretty neat notebooks out there.

I myself have a pretty extensive collection which I have collected over the years. No writer has the same taste. Some prefer hardbound books while others prefer spirals.  

Some notebooks are lined while others have squares, dots for lines, or even a blank page.

The first step is to number all the pages. Typically I like to skip a few pages in the front and back so I can use them for a title page, table of contents and notes if needed.

Once the pages are numbered, you have to decide what sort of things you're going to put into your notebooks. Some suggestions are ideas, plots, settings, free writing, tips and tricks, quotes, and of course writing. Depending how big the notebook is that you choose you'll have space for so many sections.

Use one of the blank pages in the front of the notebook for the table of contents to record which section belongs on what page. This way you'll be able to find it quickly. Also there are tabs that come in quite handy which can stick on the side or top of the page in the notebook for quick reference, making a one subject notebook into five or six subjects depending on how many pages are in the notebook and how many pages are in each section.

Another version of this notebook is what I call the project notebook. This simply means everything inside will have to do with that particular project.  Using the same technique as above you can make a notebook for a single project so all your notes are in one place for easy access. I also found that if I glued or taped a copy of my cover page to the front cover of my notebook it made keeping track of all my notes all that more simple.

All of these projects can also be made with a three ring binder; however it may be very bulky. Using lined paper, dividers and printed copies of character sketches you can have an easy way to sort your materials for your novel or other writer's writing projects. All in all this is a space for you, and only you. You do not have to show anyone what's inside your notebook unless you want to.

Have fun with it!