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Some Tools of My Trade

When it comes to writing prose, I’m pretty exclusively a computer user. Writing by hand is toooooo sllllooooooowww a process when it comes to getting stuff out of my head and onto a page.

But when it comes to jotting down ideas, writing things down so that I’ll remember them later (very important when you’re ADHD), doodling and daydreaming, I’m all about the pen and notebook. (I also write poems by hand. It’s a whole different thing than writing prose.) I’ve had a huge office/school supply fetish ever since I was a kid. I particularly love buying blank notebooks (full of so much potential!) and new pens (watching the ink flow across the paper–Heaven!). I adore Moleskines and other small, hardbound notebooks, but for daily use, I actually prefer composition books and spiral-bound notebooks. It hearkens back to being a kid in school, filling notebooks with a delirious mix of schoolwork, cartoons, maps of imaginary places, and story ideas.

my notebook & pen

Here’s my current notebook, “A Book of Impossible Things” (I usually give my notebooks titles), along with my pen of choice (it has quick-drying ink, which is extremely helpful when you’re a lefty who generally smears his writing with most pens and pencils). Inside is a daily journal of things of note that happen in any given day, rough drafts of poems, ideas on writing and other creative expressions, vague meeting notes from work, movie ticket stubs that I’ve taped onto pages, doodles, and other assorted, jumbled thoughts that have spilled out of my head and into my notebook.

I love how beat up my notebooks get. It shows how useful they are to me. And I like writing on graph paper more than regular lined pages. It’s kind of like playing Dungeons and Dragons all the time.

And now you have a little more insight into my processes.


  1. Jeanne wrote:

    Okay, seriously, I need to get my hands on that pen to see what kind it is.
    Sometime I’ll show you the smashbook I’ve got going these days.

    Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink
  2. josh wrote:

    The pen is a Pentel EnerGel. I usually write with a black one, but lately I’ve been writing in blue.

    Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink
  3. You know how some people like to gawk at car accidents? Drive by all slow and easy to see just how bad the damage is?

    I’m like that, but with the way people work. I love seeing what people use to write their thoughts down upon, what their tools are, how they make sure they’re getting something out there in the world. Great stuff here, man. :)

    Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 11:11 pm | Permalink
  4. josh wrote:

    Thanks, Daniel! I love seeing “behind the scenes” stuff, too.

    Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6:39 am | Permalink

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