My notebook habit has resulted in a certain level of proliferation in recent weeks. I tend to leave the house with the notebook containing my novel-length work in progress, one for short stories, a bullet journal I’m using to run my life, a notebook I used for taking notes when reading throughout the week, and a planning notebook that’s used for brainstorming elements of the novel.
Oh, and a blank 128 page notebook that I assumed I’d packed for a reason, except it proved to be blank when I pulled it out and opened it up to reacquaint myself with its contents.
It is a terrible thing to be a writer and give yourself permission to indulge in your notebook fetish, but it has hit the point where I need to cut back.
And so I wondered down to my local Officeworks yesterday afternoon and invested in a larger notebook than the standard a5-sized beasts in my notebook wodge. The new one is 181 mm x 250 mm, large enough to handle compiling the bullet journalling, study notes, and short-story drafts getting compiled into a single place.
I would add the the novel brainstorming to the new one as well, but it’s taking place in a very lightweight notebook I picked up in Vienna that’s not too arduous to carry around. And the three notebook pile does actually make for a rather handsome set of writing and productivity tools.
‘Cause nothing says matching set like the combination of an embossed image from The Hobbit and the works of Egon Schiele. I dearly wish the Schiele and Klimt notebooks I picked up in Vienna back in 2013 were good for prolonged writing projects, but they have surprisingly low page-counts and they’d fill in about two weeks.
One of the advantages I’ve discovered about the J. Burrows brand books I’ve come to prefer (and the Moleskins I’ll occasionally find among the backlog of notebooks people have given me as gifts) is that one 240 page notebook will last me a little over a month of steady drafting. It also breaks down into a useful metric when trying to gauge the pace of the story, since two hand-written notebooks is largely going to be about a novel draft.
I’ve got less than fifty pages to go, in the current novel notebook. I’m not at the halfway point – not anywhere close – which means it’s turning into a big, sprawly kind of book at this point.
Which makes my title page, way back when I begin, something of a lie. It reads:
Ghost Western (A Novella)
I cannot think of another project where I’ve been that wrong about the final word count.