Always carry a notebook… here’s why.

“Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.”
― Will Self

Most authors and writers will already do this, but if you don’t, ask yourself why. I am guessing that in the age of technology, some writers will keep all their ideas on their tech gadgets and desktop computers, and that is where I keep a lot of my notes.

However, I also use a notebook because, personally, I find it easier to refer back to, and I like those personal recollections in a physical place. Let’s face it: as amazing as technology is, should there be an outage or some kind of tech disaster, it would be a tragedy to lose all those ideas.

Of course, it works both ways; you may just as easily leave your notebook on the bus, train, or plane. But if you have your notes on your tech devices, you are well covered both ways.

There is something satisfying and delicious about a tactile notebook. It becomes a document of progress, ideas, thoughts, and processes that might otherwise be lost in a moment of distraction. As it becomes dog-eared over the ravages of time, it becomes a fascinating place to revisit. To view your own handwriting, how it changes, your moods, and the way you write, is something to be appreciated and enjoyed. It’s also a wonderful way to leave something for others—those who come after us and are looking for clues to what our thoughts or writing processes are. Our writing doesn’t have to become famous for this to be of interest.

Last night, when I wasn’t tired enough to sleep, I jumped up and started noting down ideas for my short stories. I lay there for a while, thinking to myself, “Oh, I must remember that in the morning. But then I thought, “What if I forget? There is the expression ‘perish the idea.” My thought at that moment was, “What if the idea perishes in a sea of dreams, distraction, or other ideas?”

This merry month of May, MyriadLifeBooks is offering an extra Colour My Cover notebook if you buy two or more of the notebooks shown on this website. It can be from the Writer’s Notebook Collection or from the Norfolk Notebook Collection. The offer is open to UK customers. See more about it here.

Spring is in full swing, here’s hoping for a nice sunny summer ahead with many more stories to unfold.

Please subscribe if you’d like to be kept up to date with new arrivals and offers at MyriadLifeBooks.

I will leave you with another author quote by Ani Baker:

“Maybe if she would have written things down in a notebook; details smaller than her life. Maybe if she would have turned them into a song. Maybe if she had a picture. These are the ways to remember things that your mind doesn’t on its own commit. However it chooses what it does to commit. However.”
― Ani Baker, Handsome Vanilla

Author: Petra Kidd

Norfolk UK is my home, I live in Norwich by the River Wensum where everyday there is something different to see and learn. I feel a big affinity with the river as I grew up in Cambridge, another great river city. My childhood and teens involved many walks along the Cam where we would watch 'The Bumps,' raft races and as we grew older we enjoyed adventures on our punting pub crawls. Growing up in a multi cultural university city definitely influenced my reading choices, I am a big fan of Japanese fiction, love French literature and enjoy Shakespeare. As a young teen I entertained myself with Jilly Cooper and Dick Francis and then became quite obsessed with Henri Charriere's Papillon. At school all I cared about was English, Art and French, in that exact order. When I finished with school I went to live and work in Greece for a wonderful year before returning to study English Literature and Sociology. At this point I read more classics like the Wyf of Bath, Wuthering Heights and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man plus poets such as Wilfred Owen. My first UK full time job was with Heffer's Paperbacks where I devoured several books at a time, excited by the fact I could borrow what I liked. Bizarrely for me I remember reading The Zurich Axioms, I have no interest in the stock markets but it had me gripped. I can't remember why I picked it up but I have never forgotten it. Heffers introduced me to so many authors, via their books and sometimes in person. It was here I learned about all the genres, it fascinated me that science fiction and horror were so popular, I tried reading it all. Aside from writing letters, it didn't really ever occur to me to write anything myself for many years as I worked my way through a variety of interesting and varied jobs. Then on a visit to the London Aquarium I became struck by an idea so powerful I sat down and wrote my first novel. It went nowhere as really I wrote it because I wanted to. I wrote another novel and again, didn't have the persistance or determination to take it further, I simply enjoyed the process of writing and my characters. Then years later another idea struck me and during a severe bout of Pleurisy where I couldn't do anything physical for months, I wrote the Eight of Swords and The Putsi. This time I published them as ebooks and they became pretty popular. When I fully recovered, I had to concentrate on my business and looking after my mother who has various health issues and the writing went adrift again for many years until 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world. March 2020 I moved to my apartment alongside the Wensum to live alone for the first time ever. During the first lockdown I began to write a diary and then the idea for a new set of short stories came to me and in February 2021 they will be published. The Covid-19 Pandemic is not simply a scary virus, it is a historical time and here we are trying to live through it. To many it will feel like a punishment but to me as a writer, in some ways, it came as a gift. Please stay as safe and as well as you can. I hope to entertain you with my stories as we all try to get through this together, even though we are apart. Petra

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