"Keep a notebook in your purse at all times!"
"You won't remember that idea in the morning. Write it down."
"You should have a notebook by your bedside table."
"You never know where inspiration will strike and you need to be ready."
I'm here to say that the notebook is one of the writer's most powerful tools -- but not just in your purse and on your bedside table.
It's true that you will probably forget your ideas in the morning, and inspiration can come in all shapes and sizes at all times of the day or night and it's important to have something handy to jot stuff down on.
But I think the power of a notebook goes beyond. It can help overcome writer's block.
Actively step away from the screen and open the notebook. Start word-doodling.
You are probably thinking, why not just type ideas on your laptop?
Because when you take up a pencil or pen and scribble down ideas to spark up a scene (without the commitment of formulating a full paragraph) magic happens. Yes, it can showcase bad handwriting, but our minds will have a framework to work fresh angles on our plots or characters. It's like thinking outside the box, literally. It's stepping away from the structure of your document to a place where you can write in color, sideways, up and down, acrostics, whatever -- to give you a mental picture of your next scene. It's like an outline, but a random one. And fiction is random.
One idea will launch off another until we have a wealth of new energy to bring back to our keyboards. That's why it helps with writer's block.
So here's to the power of your notebook! Bring it everywhere, EVEN to your writing desk.