Writing Tip: #15 Destroy Your Favorite Notebook

Do you have a favorite brand of pen that draws that perfect line? Do you meticulously clean your desk before you start writing? Is there a certain time of the day that you MUST write, or you can’t focus?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it’s time to shake up your habits!

Writers need to be spontaneous. We never know when or where inspiration will strike. Maybe we have the perfect routine, but how do we know that routine will last? We can’t shut off our imaginations because we’re on vacation or dealing with life’s countless problems.

The fact is, these habits can become an excuse for procrastination… or worse, writer’s block.

Do you find yourself falling into this trap? Try writing without a routine. Force yourself to work in a chaotic environment. Don’t get locked into a favorite desk, pen, or notebook.

I had the idea for this post while I was on vacation with my future in-laws. I was on a boat surrounded by six kids, four adults, and a dog. My hands were wet. I was sunburnt. All I had was a sheet of notebook paper and a pen. But I still managed to take a page of notes for my blog and The Day I Wore Purple.

Bottom line: never let your tools stifle your inspiration!



  1. Kallie Colton

    So, I lurked around your whole site. I wasn’t really sure where to leave a comment, so I just settled for here. It looks really nice and clean cut. It’s awesome you put up all the reviews and Wattpad comments. I wasn’t expecting that. Oh and I definitely like that tip up there. :)

    • jakevanderark

      Woohoo! Another post : ) I really hope I can get people to come here and comment… I don’t know how well it’ll work, but I’ll just keep posting until it happens!

      And yeah, I find myself breaking that rule all the time, and I have to make a conscious effort to avoid it. If I run out of one type of card, for example, I’ll feel this urge to go to the store and get the exact same kind so they line up. Instead, I have to force myself to use slightly different cards, just so I can get more work done. I’ve been getting much better at it over the last year… so that’s good : )

      • Kallie Colton

        Well, you have some loyal followers, so I think they’ll come. :)
        And honestly, I would need the same cards. It would drive me insane to have to sit there and stare at the cards if they weren’t aligned evenly and all. I think I may be a little bit OCD, though. Haha.

        • jakevanderark

          Haha, you know what I do now? I actually INTENTIONALLY buy different cards now… just so I don’t have the option to be OCD. Seriously, it would be bad if I let it… but I don’t let it anymore. It’s actually very liberating!

  2. DivineMissM

    Wonderful tip, especially for those of us who are perfectionists and pros at procrastinating… :\ I myself find I can only write at night. I’ve tried many times to fix this by writing during the day, but I can’t every day because of work, and when I do I have to force it and I just end up wasting time rewriting it later anyway, so very helpful!

    • jakevanderark

      Haha, I can’t tell if that last line is sarcasm or not! But yeah, it was a hard habit for me to break too… I write SO much better at night, but the fiancé doesn’t like it… so I’ve been forcing myself to work during the day. I still get more done at night… but like I said, you gotta practice so you can take on anything : )

  3. Pingback: Tip: #16 Four Solutions To Writer’s Block That You’ve Never Heard Before « Jake Vander Ark

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