The Writer’s Notebook

Filed in Reading, Writing

I discovered this book through either the Moleskinerie or Notebookism site, and immediately set about looking for a copy. It’s one of those rare, out-of-print books so I headed straight to my favourite rare book site, Alibris, found what I wanted and ordered a copy. That was more than a month ago. I almost thought it got lost on its way to me, but this evening, arriving at my sister’s, I found a brown envelope waiting for me. Yay! My copy of Howard Junker’s The Writer’s Notebook is here.

What drew me to the book is not just the opportunity to read about how writers work, but also to see pictures of actual pages from their journals. The book was mentioned in a discussion about contemporary obsession with how we write, or rather what we write with. This is one of many discussions at the NaNoWriMo site’s NaNo Technology discussion forum – participants discussing what they plan to write their NaNovels with. I, of course, am an active participant, telling the others about my wonderful AlphaSmart Dana. But I digress …

A total of 16 writers are featured in Junker’s book. I am only familiar with five of them – Kathy Acker, Dorothy Allison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Martin Cruz Smith and Gary Snyder. I read the Dorothy Allison article while waiting for dinner at my sister’s, and then started reading Maxine Hong Kingston’s on the way home – literally reading it while waiting for the lift at my apartment block and even in it, too.

I love seeing pictures of how writers work. A while back, I found and bought a copy of The Writer’s Desk – also from good old Alibris.

I only wish reading about how and where writers work, I am inspired to write better, or at least to write more.