Writing Quirks

Writing Quirks

Yesterday on The Twitter, I lamented that Moleskine doesn’t make spiral notebooks or even notebooks that have detachable pages. You see, I’m a Moleskine addict. The pages are just thick enough, the cover is just sturdy enough, the size is just perfect. But the pages have to stay in or the delicate balance of the book is ruined. Which means no pulling out used pages (except for the last 16 pages which are, in fact, detachable).

I’m not an artist or a poet so my notebooks aren’t full of poignant words in iambic pentameter or drawings of famous faces.

But I am a thinker and a planner and an organizer. So my notebooks get filled quickly. Right now one of these is full and the other is just being started. I went with the pink pack… red’s next!

My friend Tracie shared a post with me that she wrote about The Art of Journaling. It spoke to me in a way that, well, made me grab my Moleskine notebook and write “Post on writing” on my list of posts to write. Yes. I still handwrite lists. Lots and lots of lists.

So enough with the back story. What are these quirks, you ask?

Well, I don’t know if they’re really quirks or not so much as they are rules. My own, possibly insane, set of rules for where and how to write something down.

For instance, grocery lists do NOT go in the Moleskine notebook. They go in a smaller spiral bound notebook from Target.

The food items must go on the left side of the page and any other items like toilet paper, medicine or cat food, has to go on the right side of the page. It has to be written *just so* or my whole shopping experience is ruined. I wish that was being dramatic, but I’m not.

As far as what’s in the Moleskine notebooks? Nothing earth shattering, that’s for sure. Like I said, there are no gorgeous, flamboyant, detailed drawings or tear-jerking poetry, but there are ideas and quotes and lists and awesomeness!

There are travel budgets and plans. You’ll find a few daily lists that may or may not get done on that particular day. There is a lot of scratching-through and marking-out.

And yes, I’m one of those people who will add something to her list after it’s been done so it can be marked out. I don’t care how that seems, it’s rewarding to me. You should try it. You’ll feel way more accomplished!

In it you’ll find notes that when they’re looked at again three days later, make absolutely no sense. If I can’t make sense of it after looking at it a few times, it gets marked out.

I don’t always write on the lines. Sometimes I write sideways on the page. Sometimes I draw diagrams or flowers in the corner. Just to spruce up the page a little.

If you picked up my notebook, you’d probably have no idea what any of it really meant. I don’t write in code, but things are organized in MY fashion. Which is pretty stinking organized but in a freaky kind of way.

I’d say I’m still pretty old fashioned when it comes to writing. Besides the fact that I keep lists on paper and not on my iPhone/iPad/whatever, I also *gasp* write in cursive a lot.

My regular writing is a cursive-print hybrid, but (tooting my own horn) I have a really pretty cursive handwriting. And I still use it fairly regularly. My third grade teacher went to great lengths to teach us how to write real cursive so by-God, I’m gonna use it! (Shoutout to Mrs. Stubbs)

Henry actually learned cursive (at 4) before print at Montessori of Macon. (Shoutout to Mrs. Barbara) The theory behind this is, children naturally don’t pick up their pencil or crayon when they are writing or drawing. Cursive is a natural feeling writing because you don’t pick up the pencil as many times as you do when you print. There’s a trend and push right now to remove cursive from schools. I don’t know about y’all but I plan to continue working with Henry on his cursive. How will a kid be able to sign an autograph when he’s older and famous? Or sign a check? Or sign a mortgage? In print? That just seems wrong for some reason.

So Henry will continue in my quirky notebook writing footsteps. He already has numerous notebooks, though they are mostly the ones I’ve bought for myself and then decided they didn’t fit all my requirements, and loves to make lists and write his name. Sometimes it’s even in cursive!

One day, maybe he’ll be snotty enough to write his first screenplay in a Moleskine notebook. Or he’ll just keep his lists in them like his Mama. I bet he can be swayed with one of these Special Edition Star Wars notebooks that are coming out in September.

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  1. I love this post, Jana. Love. It. I am a list maker, too. And I, too, add something to a list that I did that wasn’t already there so I can cross it off. I thought that was just a me thing. A sneaky way of cheating. But I DID it… so I’m adding it. It’s something that kept me from doing something else already on the list, therefore, it now goes on the list and is crossed out so that I have some justification as to why the other things aren’t crossed out. Whoa. I think there’s something wrong with me.

  2. You have really nice handwriting. I dig it! I used to be a huge listmaker but have totally slacked. I should do it more. I would help me greatly in my daily life.

    Also, I think if I started journaling it would make me a better blogger. Or at least a more consistent one.

    Thanks for inspiring me!

    • You should make more lists. I find that they help inspire me, too. I’ll write something down and go back and look at it later and come up with something else even more exciting!

  3. I love so much that you wrote about this!

    I have one little notebook that fits in a specific pocket in my purse that is used exclusively for blogging ideas that come to me when I’m away from the house.

    When I was in elementary school, we were only allowed to use cursive writing. Now I do a bit of a print-cursive hybrid.

    Your handwriting is cool…and I like your grocery list organization. Adding something to the end of the list, just so it can be marked out is SO rewarding!! I get that.

  4. Great post! I love notebooks and am mourning the loss of my Moleskine agenda. By the way, you have FABULOUS handwriting!

  5. List-making must be hereditary………..I’ve always done it !
    But now I can’t always FIND my list to mark it off when it’s done !! I must be OLD or something !

  6. Ummm, I LOVE making lists. For everything. My friends count on me making lists. When we do girl’s vacations they send me ideas for activities so I can compile the list for the group. Because making lists brings me so much joy. I know it’s weird, and I don’t care. I am addicted to that feeling of accomplishment when something gets crossed off the list. And I still make my lists on paper so I can cross things off properly. Deleting from my phone just isn’t the same.

  7. Add me to the ‘print-cursive hybrid’ list. (Side note: the first note I wrote to my current boyfriend was a post-it note that I had left on his door. He called me to ask what it said because I wrote in cursive.) Along with the ‘add finished things to the to-do list for the satisfaction of crossing it off’ list. And the ‘write things on real paper’ list. I love my bits & pieces and stacks of paper. When I’ve finished something, whether it’s a project or a chore or whatever, I wad up the paper & throw it in trash. It’s even more satisfying than marking off something on the to-do list….

  8. You’re as OCD about lists as I am – and I love it!

  9. Not only do I love making lists a whole lot, I even have lists of my lists. And lists of things I need to make lists of. I did find a tool online that I like, because I can check off things on the page – so for daily stuff that I should always remember, I use that (it’s toodledo). And now, I shall go use my cursive-print hybrid to write yet another list, or five.


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