Hemingway could only write standing at the kitchen table. Thoreau had to expunge society to boil down the essence of his essays. Writers are infamous for using bizarre, illogical, even down-right crazy techniques to put pen to paper.
Hmmm... maybe, "A G-r-e-a-t N-o-v-e-l"
The Wall Street Journal did a piece last week on some of the odd writing techniques used by prolific contemporary offers.
From writing in the dark at 4am like Nicholson Baker (I’ve met this guy in person – definitely an odd number) to taking a shower to alleviate writer’s block, these real life techniques may not be the Muse that every writer needs to get the story out, but they sure have provided us with great writing over the years.
As for me, I’ll stick to the Raymond Chandler technique: drink about a dozen gin & tonics and smoke a Virginia hectare’s worth of Lucky Strikes before passing out in a seedy Los Angeles motel.
Shakespeare, eat your heart out.
Don’t laugh at my Moleskine-jotting naivety, but I only stumbled across the beautifully unglamorous Field Notes notebooks about a month ago while attending the An Event Apart conference in Chicago. Blast! I could have been compiling my every thought in their Spartan-yet-stylish gridded pages all along!
So explanatory! And economical!
Each pocket-sized notebook is made of durable brown cardboard, stealing a design cue from the brown bag lunch you’ve left in the office refrigerator since April. But the story of Field Notes’ genesis (conveniently written on the inside back cover next to a devilishly useful ruler) says it all:
“Inspired by the vanishing subgenre of agricultural memo books, ornate pocket ledgers, and the simple, unassuming beauty of a well-crafted grocery list… [we bring you] ‘FIELD NOTES’ in hopes of offering ‘An honest memo book worth fillin’ up with GOOD INFORMATION.'”
And if that weren’t great enough, their blog chronicles every ingenious and unique contortion that bored eighth-graders and out of work designers can come up with.
With a cult-following verging on the same degree of the legendary Moleskine, it makes me wonder if maybe I should go more afield with my tablet choices after all.