What do you like to write on? Does it depend on what you are writing? Paper – or screen? Do you prefer plain or lined paper? Narrow lines, wide-spaced, or perhaps you prefer squared pages. Perhaps it depends on what and where you are writing.

Do you like loose sheets of paper or a notebook? And there are so many notebooks -what shape and size? Sewn or spiral bound? How many pages? Natalie Goldberg (Writing Down the Bones) recommends that you fill a notebook every month. She says she chooses cheap notebooks, spiral bound. She is reminded of the time she bought them by her preferences -cartoon characters, geometric patterns or plain colours on the covers.

You may like A4 pages, or something small enough to pop in a pocket. I think that, for daily writing practice, it is good to choose something that is not too precious. Do you have that first page fear? It can be as hard to start a notebook as it is to break into any blank page. I often start on the second page, fearing that it will look a mess right from  the beginning. And it probably will. I like a friendly notebook that accepts drawings and doodles, crossings out and redirecting arrows. I have learned to be comfortable with writing that peters out or where I just get cross with my writing and say so. It is good to play, to cover the pages, to experiment and to jot things down for later. And, sometimes, even if I have a notebook handy, I write on an envelope or a paper napkin or the margins of a newspaper. Sometimes, when I have left my notebook behind, I write on the blank pages of the novel I am reading.

And don’t get me started on pencils and pens…

Write about your notebooks, paper, the lure of the screen. Maybe there is a poem in there.

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