A common writer’s tip is to carry a notebook and pen at all times so when inspiration strikes you’ll be ready, and that perfect word, sentence, paragraph, or page won’t escape forever if it falls through the cracks in your memory, failing to reappear once you’ve hunkered down to write in earnest.
It’s a good tip, one I’ve meant to follow for a number of years now but somehow never managed to put into practice. I usually have a pen on me (blue ballpoint—for some reason, I’ve always hated writing with black ink), but a little notebook has never made its way into my purse. Perhaps it stems from an unconscious desire not to add yet another item to my already cluttered handbag. Or since I HATE writing by hand (anyone who’s ever seen my handwriting can probably guess why), perhaps I’ve unknowingly developed an aversion to notebooks over the years.
Whatever the reason, my failure to tuck even the tiniest matchbook-sized pad of paper onto my person has led me to utilize some pretty odd writing surfaces when something pops into my head that I just have to scribble down. Over the years, I’ve resorted to writing on:
- The sides and bottoms of the cardboard tissue box I keep in the car
- The blank pages in the backs of old paperbacks (which I then have to rip out before passing the book along to a friend or donating it to the local library sale)
- The labels of water bottles (the back of the label is blank for many brands, so if you rip it off the bottle, this makes a decent, if somewhat small, writing surface)
- The insides of gum wrappers
- The blank side of old receipts I’ve tossed into my purse (it’s amazing how many of these are for Chinese take-out)
- The blank side of old movie or concert tickets (why do I even still have these?!)
- The price tags ripped off clothing purchases
- Post-it notes stolen off any nearby desk (usually I’ll write on both the front and back of these, and I need about five to ten of them if I’m writing anything substantial, and then I have to try to keep them in order)
- Paper napkins
- Paper cups
- Paper plates
- The margins of take-out menus (I think we’ve established I eat a lot of take-out)
- The labels of vitamin bottles
Yeah, it would be a lot easier just to get a notebook. And maybe clean my purse.
Lol, am I the only one who writes on strange items? Do you carry a notebook or, like me, do you have to get creative when it comes to spontaneous writing surfaces?