Tom Palmer's writing blog - How I write: how you write, Part Nine
Posted by Tom Palmer
18 Jul 2011
Keeping a notebook
It’s nearly the summer holidays. Not long now…
In the six week break I change my working habits a bit. Instead of working four days a week, talking about my books in schools and libraries, I write more in the summer. This is mainly because I want to see more of my wife and daughter who will be on holiday too.
My plan this summer is to write in the mornings (09.00 to 13.00) and to spend the rest of the day with my family. We’ll also go away for one week in the holidays. In that week I won’t do any work at all…
…except, I’ll have a notebook with me.
Notebooks are really important to most writers. We fill them with ideas. I won’t be spending hours writing notes down, but every day – two or three times – I’ll jot something in there. That’s why I keep the notebook with me wherever we are.
When I’m on holiday and not working, my mind relaxes. I don’t have to think about stuff in an organised way. Like what the next chapter is about, how I need to develop a character. And, because my mind relaxes, other thoughts slip into my mind. Like something that could happen to the character in my new book. Or even an idea for an entirely new book.
I often get the ideas when:
- watching a film with my daughter
- reading a newspaper
- listening to conversation
- visiting somewhere I’ve not been before.
When I get these ideas, I jot them down so that, when I start work again, I can draw on them. And that’s it. That’s what my notebooks are for.
Thanks for following the blog. Have a great summer.
Schools Network members can also download a classroom activity related to this blog entry. View.
If you’d like to keep up with Tom Palmer – and the book he is writing about a World War I football hero – this summer, follow him on his blog via www.tompalmer.co.uk or on Twitter at @tompalmerauthor. You can also chat with Tom and other authors on the Summer Reading Challenge website www.circus-stars.org.uk .
This blog will be back in September, tracking Tom as he heads on a research trip to the Arctic Circle.
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