I’ve finally gotten into the habit of carrying my writing journal with me wherever I go. In fact, I feel out of sorts without it which I take as sign of growth as a writer. When I have a moment or two, on the bus, in a coffee shop, at restaurants waiting for my food to arrive, I take a few snapshots.
Snapshots are small bits of location specific text, much like snapping some pics on your phone when you run into something interesting. Sometimes, these snapshots will be incorporated into existing stories or spark the beginning of a whole new story but even if I never use them for anything else, I consider them vital to percolating some creative energy.
I’ve printed out specific sheets for my discbound journal for taking snapshots with a small amount of space for each one to force me to distill my thoughts and I include location and date to help jog my memory later. If this is something you’d find useful, feel free to download my Lecture Notes printable in PDF and give it a try. It’s in a half sheet format 5.5″ x 8.5″ – a journal size I find small enough to carry with me and big enough that I don’t feel cramped writing in it.
Here’s an example from an afternoon visit to a local pub:
Location: Albatross Pub. Date: April 20, 2018
Everything is some shade of honey – clover, orange blossom, buckwheat wood heavily coated in resin. The beers on tap are red ale, pale ale, lager and Guinness.
And this one from a writing session at a local branch:
Location: Mimico Public Library. Date: April 26, 2018
The buzz of the lights, feet padding up and down the carpeted aisles, zippers being zipped and unzipped, the shuffling of chair legs.
They’re not Shakespeare and they’re not meant to be but I’m often surprised by the tiny details that emerge and how even a single word can be the inspiration for something big. Everything is material.