There is no surer sign of settling into a new place, for a stationary aficionado, than figuring out where all the pens and papers go. For a writer? Same thing. Luckily for me, I am both, and this is our way of putting down roots. Today, I have the house to myself, the office is more or less in place, and spedning a few minutes to plot out the day goes a long way to eliminating the “too many things to do” feeling.
Since it’s November, this is the time of year when plans for the next year, for planning and for writing both, not to mention reading, c ome naturally to mind. As of right now, I am not sure what my planner situation will be for 2021. I do love my disc bound systems, and especially the metal discs (soooo smooth) but the further I get into storage, the more options I find. Besides the dis bound options, in four different sizes, no less, I have:
- Traveler’s notebooks
- Ring bound systems
- bullet journal/bound book
- preprinted bound planner
Not to mention the good old fashioned three ring letter and half letter size binder. Which one is my favorite? All of them. Since our whole family is dedicated, especially now, to making good financial decisions, I want to challenge myself to, whenever possible, use what I already have. The reasons for this are several:
- Everything I have has already been purchased or gifted.
- I already like it.
- Putting existing things in new combinations is fun.
- I don’t have to mask up and go out to use stuff that’s right here.
- I finally have a chance to dig in and use what calls to me, and equally fun, to pass the stuff I don’t love as much on to somebody else who will love it – which makes room for more stuff for me.
Okay, that last one doesn’t fit with a lower-spend philosophy, but pen and paper tuff is at the top of my gift list when such occasions arrive, because although I have a lot, I use it, which feels utterly amazing. Like how my once upon a time writing group facilitator, J, told us that we had to keep the pen moving once it hit the paper, during our timed sprints, and the process would beget the product. That’s turning out to be true as I set up the corner of the master bedroom that is my space.
I have my cardboard coffin that holds black pens, both ballpoint and gel. These get a lot of use. Washi tape (actually just washi, as apparently “Washi” means “tape” so it’s like a “ramen noodles” thing where it’s literally saying “noodle noodles,” so “tape tape?”) comes in many flavors, but right now, I am focusing on blush and black. It’s an aesthetic, and I’m feeling it.
That fits pretty darned well, because it applies to writing. I write romance, yes, so it is all about the love, but I need the darker edge as well. What if a pirate, marooned on an uncharted island, somehow made it back to land and hunted down the mentor who left him to die? What if that opened the door to three generations of pirates?
What if medieval romance and post-apocalyptic romance had a story baby that was both of them at the same time? (News on that coming in the not too distant future) What if I stretched outside my comfort zone and told more stories in that world.? What if I unpacked stories, as well as physical items, that I had put aside for some nebulous time in the future? What if the future was now?
Those among us who are writers will know (or I hope you know) the feeling of finding an old notebook and reading the story skeleton you’d scribbled down once upon a time, and hey, this thing is pretty good. What f I brought it over to a fresh page/file and picked it back up again? That’s not a bad feeling by any stretch of the imagination.
As we keep looking through our stuff in storage, I am eagerly looking for my Alpha Smart, but I have more than enough notebooks, index cards, sticky notes, etc, to tide me over until I can incorporate that into the mix. Stay tuned for a closer look at the tools of the trade, as it were, because I can talk about stationery for fluffing ever.
Bit by bit, it’s all coming together, and there is probably going to be a moment (or definitely going to be a moment) when I slip over the line, and, like a kid kicking off the training wheels, hey, I’m doing it. Maybe I’m there. How about you?