Friday, June 13, 2008

Nibble Notes

The writing book I'm currently reading is The Writing Workshop Notebook by Alan Ziegler. There are many tidbits of information organized in to sections, with lots of quotes from other writers and creative types. I'm only about a quarter of the way through the book and yet I find it worthy of recommendation.

And quoting. Although some of the things I have underlined or starred or circled are quotes Ziegler gathered and presented to me. So how do I cite a quote of a quote? Hmm...a tangent for me to look up so I don't step on the wrong toes.

But I ramble; back to my point.

Under the "Notebooks" section of "Notes on: The Material," I smiled with recognition when I read Ziegler's suggestion to "Write 'nibble notes' (consisting of key words, idea kernels)." I was already in happy agreement with the writing about having different notebooks - one to carry in a pocket, a little larger portable book, one to live in the car, one which lives at home - in which to write. I've found myself with journals scattered here and there and have finally settled on my own random pattern: the largest possible page size which fits in the outer pocket of my Eddie Bauer bag (4"x6"), a lined inexpensive 8x10 composition book tossed in my work bag, an "ideas" Pentalic a la Modeskin hand decorated on my desk, a Fat Lil' Notebook in the driver's door of my car, and a writing workshop/group Modeskin in my going walking bag.

And then I saw it: nibble notes. Grin. As I read more I was relieved to find others quoted who don't write or create at exactly the same time everyday or in the same place. And it's okay. And keeping the notes on whatever is handy if you don't have notebook is okay, too.

I like Ziegler's writing style and I like how this book is organized so far. Basically, he's writing about writing options and how what is important is for each writer to find his or her way. What works, what doesn't, encouraging experimentation to see what fits.

And he relates writing and other creative pursuits. He encourages movement to help generate writing; movement which may include walking or dancing or standing in the middle of the room and dancing with just your arms - or riding a bus, train, boat and letting your body be carried in the motion.

Everything seen, felt, smelled, imagined, overheard, touched or untouched is potential for a writer. Always carry a pen/pencil and some paper to jot down that one or two word found inspiration. And maybe inspiration isn't always the right word. If something draws your attention, put it to paper for later. Or send yourself a text message from your phone. Note it, somehow.

Go on. Nibble.