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my notebook

I am by necessity a very organised person.

But I’m not very methodical when it comes to notebooks.

I always start with the best intentions.
I always start on the first page.

But then I find myself with a thought that simply must be committed to paper immediately and I leap to a fresh sheet somewhere in the middle of the notebook…
or unknowingly write down pages of ideas only to realise that I had the whole notebook turned upside down.

I have my notebook in my hand now. It contains of a years worth of scribbles and scratchings.

Some pages have one word upon them.
Others bustle with sentences fighting for line space.

There are thoughts aplenty, but because of my haphazard style there is no discernible chronology.
So reading back through it is an interesting task.

Now indulge me for a minute and let’s flick through this notebook together,
for today I have some pages I’d like to share with you.

Starting here…

See this… in green highlighter I’ve written: Start a blog.

I wrote it in response to a simple no-nonsense instruction delivered by my fiction lecturer, Dr Gaylene Perry.
She said: Write everyday.

And so with that in mind I sat in front of a virginal white page, or rather the blank screen, of a freshly minted freebie wordpress account and

I started writing.

One year ago today.

I started it in essence to practice writing. But I could do that on paper if I’d wanted.
With blogging it’s the audience that makes the difference.

Blogging is immediate.
It’s exploratory.
It forces you to tune your own editing skills.
It prevents you from being overly precious.

Pressing the ‘publish’ button on your blog quite literally means anyone can read your musings.
Anyone in the world (not just your mum.)
And the joyful thing that I never expected is: blogging envelopes you in a like-minded community.

Look here is the page where I’ve penned in blue biro a reminder to myself:
Email Mr Kramer re: linking to his blog. What is the etiquette? HTF do you link to a blog?

This was written after I stumbled across Neil’s blog.
His writing is the story of his days, a mixture of light and dark, of laughter and gravity, shaped by the tools of fiction writing to share with us a larger truth.
It was a style of writing I had been fumbling my own way through. I was equally inspired and intimidated.

I wrote a post and emailed Neil for permission to link back to his blog. Credit where it is due I believe I wrote. I was surprised when he wrote back to say that he was delighted that he had inspired me.

Hangon… a complete stranger taking the time to offer me encouragement?

It was my first real sense of the support one can find within the blogging community.

And hey look at this page… my old blog name “Blah Blah” with three fat question marks beside it in red ink.
I know who inspired this comment.
Quadelle, my blogging buddy from NanBlo-losemysanity-WriMo last November.
She asked me why I called my blog “Blah Blah” which, in her indomitable Canadian manner, really meant why the feck is it called something so condescending?

She was right.

A long walk later saw the rebirth of my blog as 10% fiction.
A name that paid homage to the fact that blogging for me is the truth of my experience, told my way, subjectively, and with a growing sense that I am never far from those fiction techniques.
That though my posts are non-fiction they are in essence shaped as the micro-stories of my life.

And here are two notes on the same page written in grey lead, HB I think,

Domain names? and PROOF!
These notes refer to David who set up my very own domain, when I knew I was really ready, and was patient through all my know-nothing-about-programming-questions.
Rosa who often, as a real-reader, proofs my writing (including my bio for Miscellaneous Voices, my first ever, whatthehelldoIwrite? bio…) and offers me invaluable doses of encouragement served upon platters of realism.

And as we flick through this notebook together I realise with a pang there is but one page left. Somewhere left of the middle.
But perhaps that is perfect.
For I only have one more word to write in it anyway.

With my favourite pen I write:


Some of you I know. And some of you will always be faceless.
But whoever you are and however you found me, thank you for clicking on that link that brought you tumbling across oceans, down through cables and wi-fi invisibility straight into my world for a minute or two,
this past year.

Mental note- Tomorrow: Notepad shopping.

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