My writing notebook is beginning to look dingy and drab like you would expect that sort of thing to look. I’ve taken to carrying it around every where I go and jotting down more and more things. My new one is to write down any phrase I hear that I like. While I have the ability to use a note app in my phone there’s something that just feels more concrete about the writing notebook and I have, so far, been really good about keeping up with it.

If you’re a writer or you think you might want to start working on something soon—even if you just a have a few ideas bouncing around in your head—a writer’s notebook is the way to go. I go through the things pretty slowly for the most part and the notes I take might not always make sense to everyone. But I have saved more good ideas and preserved them for later because of this system. It’s like a record that I keep, some of the earliest idea books that I have date back to high school.

I used to keep them for nostalgia, joking that they’re to remind me of how bad my ideas used to be. Then I went looking through them and there was some stuff there I could use in Keep Austin Safe that I would have never remembered or considered before I looked in there. To be honest besides the faint glimmers that made it down from the progenitor, I had forgotten the point of most of my old stories. When I looked back at the notes I had, the concepts were well thought out, they were just muddled and badly executed.

So what I am saying to you, and this might be cliché advice (but that’s because it works) is to get a writer’s idea book and keep it near and dear. It will improve your ability to get topics you can use and it will come in handy in keeping your ideas preserved.

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