I came across an interesting concept while reading an article in the SCBWI Bulletin called “Jotting Things Down” by Anne Sibley O’Brien. She referenced a term called “Notebooks of the Mind,” which I just thought sounded so cool! And mysterious. But what does it mean? Did you ever keep a journal or diary growing up? Or what about when you had that great thought or idea while standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at a restaurant and you had to scribble it down on a napkin so you didn’t forget it. All of these scribbles and sketches cumulate into “Notebooks of the Mind” or windows into our soul. A lot of it seems meaningless at the time, and truthfully, much of it may never amount to anything tangible. But it’s fodder. Fuel for that project you’re envisioning or maybe something else yet to be discovered. And when you go back to it, it’s like walking through a museum of memories, which is also fun.
If you’re not convinced of the importance of jotting things down, remember this: “Creativity did not descend like a bolt of lightning that lit up the world in a single brilliant flash. It came in tiny steps, bits of insight, and incremental changes. Zigs and zags. When people followed those zigs and zags, ideas and revelations started flowing.” -Keith Sawyer, author of Zig Zag
Benjamin Franklin didn’t just get hit by lightning. He kept notebooks, too.
I have my own journals at home. 20 or so of them, actually, collected over the years–consisting of poem fragments, stray thoughts, jumbled up text, old ticket stubs, magazine collages, scratches, and sketches. Some of it will never see the light of day, but it’s useful nonetheless. My small treasures. The Notebooks of MY Mind.
What’s going on in my brain? Here’s a sneak peek, circa 2003.
Now, I want to know, what’s going on in yours?