I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity this week. I had loads of ideas lined up for this blog post but today, none of them felt quite right. I needed something to spark my creativity to get me going but it has just been one of those weeks where everything feels a bit ‘meh’ (ever have those?).
The ideas are probably fine but they don’t feel right just now, so, instead of trying to make them work, I pulled out a notebook and started to write a page of… Well, nonsense really. Whatever was in my head at the time. If you’re a writer, you might write morning pages. It’s the same thing. There are some gems in there that might end up being poems or short stories but for now, it just cleared my head and ignited some new ideas.
There’s nothing like a notebook
There’s just something about paper for me, when it comes to sparking my creativity. I was over at Movabo last week, talking about the tools I use for my business and it’s only now that I realise I missed out one important tool: My notebooks. When I am drafting copy or trying to come up with new ideas, I find a notebook is the best tool for the job. I have many great apps I can use but sometimes I find myself getting stressed when staring at a blank screen. I tell myself ‘I have writer’s block’ (I don’t) or ‘I can’t do this’ (I can, and that’s a whole other blog post…). A blank screen says to me ‘get on with it!’ – which is handy if I have a looming deadline but a notebook, I find much more inviting. It says, ‘Well hello you. What shall we create today?’ I like pretty notebooks but a practical moleskine or even an old style school exercise book holds the same appeal for me. It’s the tactility of it. I know fingers tapping on a keyboard is tactile too but that’s hard – writing in a notebook is a softer, flowing sensation that helps me to get into that state of… well, flow.
I recently asked other writers what their preferences were when it came to writing – whether they preferred paper or apps – and the response was varied, with most preferring a combination:
Maddy Bennett at Writing Bubble says, “I try and store things in my head or look for scraps of paper in my car/bag to scribble on.” Maddy says she ‘should’ try and get more organised but having read much of her writing, working this way doesn’t seem to do her creativity any harm!
Like most of those I spoke to, I do use apps if ideas appear when I’m on the move as it’s often easiest but if I’m struggling to get the fire started, then paper does it every time.