Assortment of notebooks piled up on a wooden table.

The Importance Of Scribbling For The Self-taught Writer

Why Notebooks, pens or pencils, and digital notebooks, are the self-taught writer’s best friends


If today I have contents on this blog, and as well as a poetry book in preparation, it is greatly due to the scribbles jotted down here and there on different pages of different notebooks I keep; without forgetting the various note-taking apps in which I type-in hastily my thoughts.

Thing is, anytime of the day inspiration and ideas might lightstruck my mind — and I insist on the word ‘lightstruck’, because if I don’t pen down that sudden spur of idea, it evaporates instantly into thin air, just as the sudden appearance and disappearance of a streak of lightning in the sky.

It goes like that: images, ideas, or lines lightstruck my mind, and if ever my attention is focused elsewhere at that moment — for example, while doing the dishes, ironing the clothes, cleaning the house, bathing, or even while scrolling through interesting and inspiring online feeds, and if I don’t rush to write or type down what was cogitating in my mind, well, I instantly lose the thing… that’s how uncountable ideas and lines slipped away from my mind, and was lost forever in the ethereal space. Hence the importance for me to always have notebooks, pens, or note-taking apps within reach.

So why does the self-taught writer needs to keep notes filled with scribbles?

As scribbling-blocks for later word building

As a self-taught autodidact writer, all of these scribbles will serve you later for whatever writing project you are onto. So write whatever and wherever you can, at any time of the day, so that you might get bits of words from where you can extract the necessary inspiration for you to focus on.

 A pool of inspiration to dive-in on writer’s block season

Concerning me, there’s a point in time where inspiration floods in when I’m focusing on my work, but on some other days my mind’s creative juice is completely dried out, and that’s where I turn to my notebooks to try build upon all of these bits of sentences I’ve penned down or typed in haste. And believe me, there are enough inspiring lines in these notes for me to extract a whole paragraph, and to keep me going.

 The best self-motivational insight on times of self-doubts

There are so many times where self-doubts have gnawed my mind, making me want to abandon everything, even finding myself ridicule for daring calling myself a creative writer, a blogger, even an author… when there are so many talented writers that give full proof of their craft through the composure of their published books.

But strangely, the moment I go through my notes again, even though these are scribbles, in a rough state, my inspiration, determination, self-confidence, and want ignite right away, and all I want to do is write more, knowingly that my scribbles are concrete proof that I can do it.

So, jot down your thoughts, and perhaps you might surprise yourself by going through your notes again, something that can boost your self-confidence on these heartbreaking moments of self-doubts.

To set your imagination in motion

There are many ways of kindling one’s imagination, but to me, the thing needs to rely on the perception of the individual — like an imprint or impregnation of one’s own mind on the final composition of that something. And if you like writing, surely you like reading, and nothing is more exciting to the mind than that of the want to know what happens next in a story, nothing tickle the fancy more than that of imagining things, and what will unfold from a line, a sentence, or an idea, jotted here and there randomly.

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