It’s Valentine’s Day, it’s all about love, so today I’m going to celebrate a love that looms large in my life: my love of notebooks.
Yes, notebooks are beautiful, and they smell lovely, and there’s nothing like the feel of smoothing down that first, crisp page… But they’re also invaluable for writers, whether you’re working on a particular project or just playing around with ideas.
But with so many to choose from, where do you begin? If you’re looking for the perfect notebook for your writing projects, here are four of my favourites.
For morning pages: Sorrento Medium Leather Journal
Morning pages is the practice of writing for ten or fifteen minutes, first thing, every morning. It’s a great way to kick your creativity into gear and write without pressures or expectations. By writing first thing in the morning you catch your brain off-guard; your usual ‘this isn’t good enough’ defences are down and you’re able to write freely about whatever is on your mind. I think the Sorrento Leather Journal is perfect for morning pages because it doesn’t have lines (Draw! Write diagonally! There are no rules here!) and it’s made from beautiful coloured leather so you’ll wake up each morning excited to use it.
For your pocket: Moleskine Volant Journal
Most writers know how important it is to carry a notebook around with you – you never know when inspiration will strike, and when it does you need to be able to write it down. For that reason it’s good to carry a small, preferably soft-backed notebook with you at all times, so when you see or hear something that gets those creative cogs whirring you won’t be stuck for somewhere to jot down your ideas. I used to carry a tiny version of the Moleskine Volant Journal in my phone case, but these slightly larger versions can easily slip into a handbag or pocket.
For your work in progress: Emneblok
When you’re starting out on a major writing project – for example, a novel – it’s a good idea to have a dedicated notebook to write down all your ideas in one place. It’s even better if that notebook is divided into sections, so you can separate your research from your plot notes from your character profiles. That’s where Emneblok comes in. I picked up my first Emneblok years ago on holiday in Denmark. I’m not sure whether Emneblok is a brand name or just the Danish word for this type of notebook, but they usually include plastic dividers and several different types of paper (e.g. squared, lined and plain) – perfect for planning out those large projects!
For your first drafts: WHSmith Narrow Ruled Refill Pad
Writing by hand can be a really useful way to get your first draft out of your head and onto paper. For one thing, writing by hand forces you to write more slowly than you would if you were typing, and thus you have more time to organise your thoughts and write clearly. For hand writing, I like the WHSmith Refill Pads: they’re cheap, they’re practical no write in (there’s no spine to crack and you can tear out pages easily), and they’re not so beautiful that you will feel pressured to write only your neatest, best work in them. They just give you lines and lots of space to write – and sometimes that’s all you need.
What are your favourite notebooks for writing? Let me know your recommendations with a comment down below!
[This post is not sponsored. I have personally used and enjoyed all these notebooks.]