Keep a Notebook

I write online in my running log after my runs, but I also like keeping a notebook. I write with a Staedtler Triplus Fine Liner black pen. Sometimes I use crayons too. Recently, I started using crayola colored pencils for highlighting key ideas, embellishing the date, and coloring in block letters, which is interesting since, because of my cone dystrophy and color-blindness, I cannot always tell what color I’m using or whether or not I’m filling in the space I’m trying to color. (Usually, once I’ve read the color etched on the side of the pencil, my brain adjusts and I “see” the right color, but not always). Up until last month, I wrote in Mead Composition notebooks (2 green, 2 blue, 1 purple), but now I’m trying out a Field Notes notebook from the “Pitch Black” series. It’s bigger then their typical notebooks, but smaller than a composition book. My notebook focuses on notes about what I’m reading or writing or thinking about. It is not a diary but a record of what’s already been “said, read, or heard” (Foucault, “Self-Writing”). It’s also where I write poems and document the process of figuring out my poems.

The Plague Notebooks

I started writing in a “pitch black” field notes notebook on Jan 15, 2020, just before COVID-19 became a pandemic. In March, while writing in the second one, I decided to name these black notebooks “The Plague Notebooks.” I’m almost finished with volume 2: On the Brink, Wave 1. I am calling volume 1: Pre-US Infection).

I have plenty of half-filled notebooks from past writing projects, but since starting my Run! notebooks, I’ve filled them all up before moving onto the next one.

Take Notes/ Lydia Davis

Take notes regularly. This will sharpen both your powers of observation and your expressive ability. A productive feedback loop is established: Through the habit of taking notes, you will inevitably come to observe more; observing more, you will have more to note down. 

Further Reading