Hello 2B or not 2B readers, I’m Fin from Offbeat On-point and Hannah has been so gracious to let me write a writing tips and tricks post for you folks today. I wanted to do something special for my first guest blog post and so I decided to make a picture essay for you detailing my writing process.
When it comes to writing, I live by a few simple rules:
- Write every day. Or at least on a schedule, some people are really hardcore and go seven days a week but I personally need more flexibility so on average I do about five days a week. I count blog writing, journal writing, writing an essay for school, writing a short story, whatever. What is most important is to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, or chalk to concrete, whatever tickles ya).
- Write a minimum word count when you sit down to write. For me this is pretty light, 1000 words but I regularly exceed this. The idea is to force yourself to write enough to get something worth saying by the end of the session. Given my handwriting size, this is one page in my notebook. This like, frequency and style of writing, is personal and flexible but the general idea is to pick a length that is comfortable plus 300 words or the equivalent of.
- Set the scene. I’ve been writing for a while and in that time I’ve learned I have some specific tastes.
- I write best at a desk but I’ve also found writing by a moving body of water is quite nice too (anything from a creek to a river).
- I frequently enjoy writing in the afternoon or later, usually between 4pm and 10pm.
- I write in ball point pen, pencil is no good. Black ink – always. Blue – when I run out of Black. Bic Atlantis is my favourite click stick. Ever.
- I like composition notebooks (spiral bound are the devil) specifically 5×5 quad ruled.
- Music: creative writing and journaling – no; blogging/essay writing – frequently.
What follows is a template for my writing process.
Meet the Books (from left -> right) Artemis (ART), Levithian (LEV), and New Gods & Old Symbols book 5: outline and first draft (NGOS). I keep separate notebooks for separate projects. ART is my journal, LEV is my journal overflow and general catch-all journal, and NGOS is for my working project.
This is what a normal journal entry looks like. Above is a sample sentence. I write in this space to write my journal stuff. Notice I use a header with date, day of week, counter of something to be mindful of, and time.
Because my thoughts can wander and branch out, I implore the “Sidenote system.” (I)
(I) is an example of a sidenote.
— I strike out ideas versus marking them out because I like to still be able to read them. I don’t believe in self-censorship in journaling.
–I also make up rules as I go because it’s okay to break the rules sometime.
(I) the note system contains: Sidenotes, Footnotes, Sidenotes: the Sequel, Headnotes, Insidenotes, Loopnotes, Out of the Loopnotes, (“book emoji”) (NGOS V, 42)B <–Interbook note, Intranotes (i, 99)C.
(A) I use 10 squares for sidenotes [width] and 5 squares for footnotes [height]. I use footnotes as a subset of sidenotes. (B) Format: (“book emoji”) (Call #, page #) <- interbook notes ( C) Format: (destination, origin)
This page exists as a template for “the note system.”
Headnotes: (.) I use different symbol systems to delineate directions of notes. I. sidenotes – roman numerals (I, II, III…), footnotes – alphabet (A, B,C), sidenotes: the sequel – maths operators (“aries emoji”), loopnotes – astrological signs (“taurus emoji”)”
Inside Loopnotes: (“Aries emoji”) England says ‘maths’ rather than ‘math’ because “mathematics” is the plural of “mathematic” but the latter is obsolete so we say “maths” which is proper. (“taurus emoji”) (“aries emoji”, “taurus emoji”, “gemini emoji”), headnotes – Mayan numerals ( . , . . , . . . , . . . . , _ ), inside notes – time (“12’o’clock emoji”)
Out of the Loopnotes: (“A rune”) for the record, I’ve never gone this deep in the note system.
This is my open page for the new notebook. Still working out my system (only get one chance per notebook).
I’m trying out a table of contents thing but I have decided that I like the grid much better than college ruled pages. More freedom for formatting.
(99, i): The first two pages of a notebook are labeled numbered “i” and “ii” and contain an introduction and timeline (ii, i). Then the last two pages are not numbered and are called “Closing thoughts” and “sticker space.”
This is the timeline page where I detail noteworthy events in the course of the journal time.
I also like to dedicate to reflection on the time that has past since starting this notebook and the contents of this notebook and maybe speculate on what I would like to do with the next notebook.
I ❤ stickers.
With that tour of my writing process, I hope I’ve inspired a new idea or entertained you at least because for me this whole process is about entertaining myself. Everything I do is for a laugh or because I think it might be fun to try. Overall if I had to give a singular tip or trick for writing is this: Buy some of the “Wreck this Journal” books and WRECK SOME JOURNALS! Inspiration will follow.