Blank Pages: how notebooks support us as we write

What do you write in when you’re making notes of ideas compared to when you’re writing out a whole story/poem/scene? Do you use a pen or a pencil? Does typing make you productive or disconnected? I’m exceptionally curious about the material culture of creative writing processes and I recently had the opportunity to channel some of that curiosity into an academic research paper.

My paper ‘Blank Pages: The role(s) of the notebook in creating wellbeing during a series of creative writing workshops‘ is now available to read online in the first issue of Writing in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing Research, a peer-reviewed open-access academic research journal from the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE).

The paper is a case-study of the ways in which a group of writers used the notebooks supplied to them as part of the Ageing Creatively pilot research project at Newcastle University. The main point are illustrated with verbatim-style poems, created from participant interviews as part of the project.

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3 thoughts on “Blank Pages: how notebooks support us as we write

  1. I actively hate having to write with a pen and paper. On one hand you can find some really fantastic looking notepads. On the other hand I write like a 7 year old, and have since age 6. Just that one year I really felt like I was on to something.

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  2. To be honest it’s my impatience which drags me down. I dislike the time it takes for the ideas to run out of my head, down my arm and into the notebook. I use a multi-platform app for my notes, because I can type so much quicker than I write! I love wandering around town, tapping down an idea as it comes to me, then plucking it out later to be the seed of something greater. I just dislike having to use a pen and paper to do it!

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