“I want to learn everything I can, and I write down everything I see. Golly says if I want to be a writer someday, I better start now, and that is why I am a spy.” – Harriot M. Welsh ‘Harriet the Spy’
Ever since I first saw the movie ‘Harriet The Spy’ I have been in love with notebooks. Harriet was a young girl who was obsessed with becoming a writer – she wrote in her notebook every day and she had many, many notebooks.
I wanted to be just like her. I loved writing on the clear blank page of a brand-new notebook and I wanted to write as much as I could. After seeing that movie I used to pretend I was a songwriter and I wrote lyrics in my notebook, I would sneak around and write random facts about the people I spied and the things they did, I composed songs, I constructed poems, I made to-do-lists, and I journaled about each day. Writing helped me to focus, gave me something to look forward to, and it gave me tasks to accomplish.
Fast forward about 15 years and to this day there is nothing that gets me quite as excited as a brand-new notebook. I am a list-maker, a bullet point creator, a note taker, and a notebook lover. Here are some of the reasons this has become a more practical as well as functional part of my life (as well as a creative part):
Going through a crisis at home? Trying to get through family drama? Maybe you have a new boss and you are going crazy at work? Whatever has your brain going scattered – write about it. Write what you think, write what you feel and you will be amazed at the clarity you find in yourself as you write the floating thoughts that scatter your mind. Organize your thoughts and they will not organize you.
Categorize Tasks and Goals
When your life feels chaotic – sit and write down your main goals and or tasks for the year. You can go up to five years if you are feeling particularly up-rooted. If you can’t think that far ahead because of circumstances that are not in your control, write your goals and tasks for the next week or even just for the day. You will be amazed at the sense of purpose you find in those written tasks and the sense of accomplishment you feel as you check off each task one at a time.
Writing about your tasks and goals, and writing about your accomplishments can spark creativity in your mind. Writing things down can help you focus, it can help you clear your mind of clutter and then focus on more fun and creative things.
Ray Bradbury said, “You fail only if you stop writing.” Never stop writing, never stop creating, never stop improving.