The writing itch

Writing by Jonathan Reyes - http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpaxonreyes/5034760960/in/set-72157625343177739
Writing by Jonathan Reyes – CC BY-NC 2.0


I did a silly thing last week. When I was packing for Melbourne, to save space and with the intent of being realistic, I didn’t pack my writing journal. I thought I’d have no time or head space to write in it. This indicated to me that writing just wasn’t a priority at the time. Silly billy, I was.

It turned out that after three days of not writing, not so much as an entry in my diary each day, my writing itch needed to be scratched. I felt a need to quieten my mind and empty it of my ideas and thoughts. There was a reason why I picked up a couple of Moleskine notebooks from a bookstore in St Kilda.

I initially thought I had made a mistake by buying the wrong notebooks. They were plain and I wanted lined. Oh how wrong I was (again!). In my first entry in one of the notebooks, I wrote about keeping an open mind about the unruled pages. My writing can be big so I tend to go for ruled notebooks because a) I can probably fit more on each page, and b) I liked the structure. I told myself the experience could be liberating to my writing. This, in part, has already been realised.

I started writing in the notebook because not only did I really need to write about something, but also I didn’t have any other space in which to write, and so I kept it on me for the rest of the trip. This notebook has quickly become the ‘whatever’ notebook.

To give you an idea of what I write about when I get the itch, in the couple of days I had my notebook in Melbourne, I had written about:

  • my need to write;
  • being okay with needless mobile phone interruptions (Twitter, Facebook, etc) during time spent with my partner (again, boyfriend, defacto, whatever) but not okay with reaching out my notebook and writing while at a restaurant or watching TV in our hotel room, interrupting our time exploring the city together – must rectify, there’s a shift in perspective required here;
  • reflecting on my RAILS presentation;
  • a table for one (in a restaurant) and the benefits of dining alone, and
  • a to do list.

So you can see, what I write about when I get the itch is random. I’ll pick a trigger, an idea or prompt and write whatever. Writing has become a habit, a need and a very good one to have. The important lesson to take away here is to always have a notebook with me, no matter what.

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