Tuesday, March 24, 2009


(what's in your bag?)
While hanging with friends, I am constantly faced with the reiteration of the "writer's preference" joke. While hanging with Jamalcom (a mixture of his first and middle name), he started to out shout me, "No one follows the rules you do! No one has pen, journal, and paper preferences. Real writers, just write!" Oh Jamalcom, poor Jamalcom. Watch me prove you wrong. Now, i know EVERYONE might not agree with this, but i know for a FACT that the majority of writers, sketch artists, note takers, or whatever we're calling ourselves (artists) nowadays have writing preferences. Now, I know you're asking yourself:
"What writing preferences might she be speaking of?"
Well here's the breakdown:
A while back I thought my journal obsession was an individual thing until i came across several blogs dedicated to the art of making journals or collecting them. During a rummaging of my basement, in my father's "how to be a writer" books, junior year, i came across a book called "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg. Goldberg gives a whole breakdown of writers attachment to a certain type of pen, quality of paper, journals in which we write in and even the bag in which we carry them. And it is so true! I have a serious attachment to specific writing tools and find it hard to get into my ZONE without them.
I'm not sure what resides in your backpack or laptop bag. I can only guess based on what I have in mine and have seen in others' like myself:
Cellphone (w/note taking capability)
*Got something to add; feed my curiousity!*
No matter what you may call your notebook, journal, diary, sketchbook, visual log, or travel book; they are still considered our best friends. You can ask any of my friends, (they think I'm loony for this, but are the first to ask my help when choosing a journal), about my journal selection. I have over 100 journals, and they are all handpicked by me. (I haven't even included the journals that are gifts in that number.) I'm ALL for writing on anything, but why write in something that doesn't inspire you? There's nothing like seeing the front of a marble composition notebook, that has been decorated with the characteristics of the individual it belongs to. (You know when you see a DOPE journal cover, you want to know whats in it. Don't front.) However, I haven't been blessed with a steady hand, so my journals are all pre-made. (In China, Korea, etc. like everything else lol.) Hand me a journal and by feeling the quality of its paper and eyeing its design, i could tell you which country it originated from, where you bought it, how much it cost and when it will start to fall apart. (Yes it's that serious.)
I respect writers with tons of loose leaf paper strewn throughout their book bag with half written poems. Because honestly, i could NEVER do that. I'm already a bit disorganized. So, I need a journal with a flat binding, preferably an elastic place holder, that's unique. Let's face it, spiral notebooks always SCREW UP, and bad binding starts to BREAK. I hate having a journal that's losing it's pages all over the place. Speaking of pages, I've encountered ALL types in journals. (i.e.: the wall journal entry below.) Whether you're a lined paper, blank, thick, or slim paper type of person. A good pen always runs across quality paper so much more smoothly. Ever got a 99 cent notebook? Compare that to a Mead notebook. Run your pen across it. I promise you'll notice the difference. The extra $1.50 is worth it.
My Preferences & Faves?
Journals: Made by Savannah College of Art and Design for Barnes and Nobles or anything B&N really
Pens: Pentel R.S.V.P.
Bags: One where 2 0r 3 journals can fit comfortably
Pencils: Dixon #2 (Good Eraser Please :-p)
Pages: Lined
Notebook Size: Thick
Celly: Blackberry Notes
Laptop Program: yWriter5
I'd love to hear your preferences....SPILL.


Unknown said...

To be honest, you've seen my post on KweenzDestroy, so you know I always have paint markers in my purse. I also have highlighters, mechanical pencils, regular pens, and a composition notebook.
Writers constantly have tools for writing, whether its a notebook with notes, a napkin that has notes scribbled on it, receipts, or I also store notes in my cell phone.

I liked this post alot, you were spot on mama.! :)

RAEthoven said...

o0o0o0oh people always think im crazy when i freak out over losing certain pens.
i LOVE that same journal but i don't really have a preference as long as the paper is smooth and i have enough room to write. i have a big one now, like a regular notebook.
pink rsvp pens. fine print or black.
black bic pens or their mechanical pencils. .9mm. this silly pack of pens from the dollar store that right sooo smooth. i keep notes everywhere. even lil post it notes with quotes i like to look at later. fabulous post.

nianicole said...

okay so i feel freaky, but i love to scribble barely legible quotes and lines in the margins of my homework, or on the back of my school bus tickets and on ripped up pieces of paper. makes me feel original. besides that i love journals that i get as gifts, they make me feel loved. i love a juicy blue pen, and i'm left handed so when i write fast and hard it looks like i just painted a master piece literally. lol

bia.lisa said...

There's always a notebook and pen with me wherever I go. Pen's I go crazy about because I love only blue and black pens, they rest of the color pens I'm eh about. When I use to draw, a pencil was always with me. The paper has to be smooth enough for me to write.

Like This Post!!!!!

OB said...

I love this post!

I try to keep pens in pads in my purse, people think I'm crazy cause I'm write on napkins, coasters, gum rappers, whatever it takes to remember something I want to write about later, quotes, thoughts, people whatever. I love writing it's a HUGE part of who I am. I have even text myself quotes from someone or a movie, wrote on my arm lol. I guess I am a little odd lmao. thanks for posting!


Anonymous said...

Honestly I don't have any preferences what so ever, Just Give Me A Seat By The Window And A Pen And Pad, Notebook Or Whatever And Watch The Magic Happen lol.

Anonymous said...

i'm all about moleskins these days...normally the line, pocket-sized brown joints...but now that the mid-sized comes in soft cover...

if those aren't available - it's got to be soft-covered, the lines have to be relatively small, and there must be a pocket in the back to catch the receipt back and napkin poems.

new pen for every new journal...right now the Pilot V5 situations.

loved the read

peace be

Little Miss Knobody said...

Krink paint markers (K-42) must be in my purse/bag at all times ;) I feel empty w/out them. It's been that way since I was about 16.

Lyrik Marie said...

I personally agree with yyou .. I write [rhymes of course] .. And I cant stand the note pad .. Especially the yellow paper . And those seem to be the most common amongst rappers .. I can not stand ball point pens or pencils .. I must have a round pen. Preferably a B.I.C pen. I like all kinds of B.I.C pens. My looseleaf must be white as shit .. I cant stand almost white paper.. Paper has to be WHITEE !!! .. I like Marble notebooks .. But I prefer the slim spiral notebooks instead ..

U friend is hard headed .. But I agree .. Writers are wierd when it comes to writing ..

FloridaGirl said...

I am enjoying your post. Natalie Goldberg also talks about how the choice of journal/paper/pad/pen can affect how you write. She says that if you have a fancy journal, you might restrict your thoughts to only those you feel worthy of the journal. She recommends a simple spiral notebook, the cheaper the better, so as to get the thoughts down without censoring them.

She also recommends a fast writing pen because thoughts come so quickly you don't want to get slowed down by the movement of the pen. I heard her once say that if you use a small pad to write on, you might produce small thoughts, but then she pointed out the power of William Carlos Williams, a doctor and poet, who wrote his thoughts on a prescription pad. Short but powerful thoughts.

Check out Natalie's latest book Old Friends From Far Away for writing prompts.

Ziggy Za. said...

Hmmm...I've gotta have a leather bound journal, and lately Dr. Grip blue ink pens have been my crack. My iPod's always in my bag, along with millions of tiny pieces of paper that I wrote on when I couldn't get to my journal fast enough.

Anonymous said...

Omg! I totally agree...but for ME it depends on the day..I have very nice notebooks with colors and prints...plain ones...lol..I can write better when I write on something that reflects my mood...a normal notebook when I am down...a fancy one when i'm on top of the world..lmao call me crazzzzzzyyyy but lmao w.e lol :) gooood shyyt i like dis!