You may as well ask me why I breathe. The answer to both is because I have to. If I don’t have access to a pen and paper I feel as though there is something missing. In common with many writers, I am never happier than when faced with a brand new notebook that I can start to fill with writing.
Much of it comes from being an introvert and doing a lot of my thinking in my head. My notebook is simply and extension of my head – the notebook is the overflow facility. I’ve got too many ideas. I can’t hold everything I want to in my memory so, in an attempt not to lose it, I write it down. It can be anything – the birds I’ve seen in the garden, the places I’ve visited and what I thought of them, the weather. Then of course are the triggers for stories, an overheard conversation, a snippet of information, a picture, a collection of random thoughts that come together.
I’m as happy in my own company as I am with a small number of people around me, but I love travelling alone and when I do and there’s no one to discuss the day with, I write it all down. Our loft is packed with boxes of paperwork weighing down the beams. Some of it I may never look at again, but it’s there if I want to reminisce. When I’m writing down thoughts I prefer pen or better still a pencil and paper to my computer. Even planning a book a lot is set down on paper before it ever reaches the computer.
Some writers have a very organised system of notebooks and I do for some things, but for general ideas they are all kept together and I enjoy looking back and piecing bits together as I need them, rather like doing a jigsaw.
What book would I take to a desert island? An empty one and an endless supply of pencils!