|The benefits of a writer keeping a notebook, diary, journal, or blog are many; just as there are many writers. Each writer has his/her own style of writing, as well, his/her own preferences such as location, time of day or night, mood, writing instrument, etc... The only common denominator that writers share is words and even they may be manipulated and twisted in order to assume a new meaning of a writer's liking.
While there may be some writers that do not implement any of the four methods of logging their ideas, these numbers are probably few. The odds are likely that if these writers would utilize one of the tools listed above, the quality of their writings would increase dramatically.
The employment of a certain method of writing down one's thoughts is based strictly upon each writer's personal preference. For various reasons, I favor using a notebook over the other three types. Throughout any given day, countless ideas, thoughts and questions cross my mind and they do so in no particular or chronological order. If I do not jot these ideas, thoughts and/or questions down on paper, it is highly likely that I will misplace them somewhere in the recesses of my mind which usually leads to me forgetting about them altogether. I am certain that I could have solved all the problems of the world if only I had taken a few seconds to make note of my ideas for future reference and for "project management" purposes.
Depending on what type of writing I am planning to do, be it a poem or an editorial piece for the local newspaper, a notebook is essential in my plight for devising the perfect poetic line or a descriptive, informative sentence. Many times I will have to rearrange the words in a sentence in order to effectively get a point across or a message delivered. My notebook is a necessary tool for me to be able to scratch out a word and to insert a new one in its place. Likewise, I may write a paragraph multiple ways in order to determine which one is more powerful or I may mix and match parts from each to form one solid statement. This act of word switch-a-roo would be impossible for me to do without my handy notebook.
If only I could master the art of proper and legible note-taking, I would be queen. The aspect of organization would also prove to be extremely beneficial if I could perfect a working system. Instead, I tend to write a flitting thought on a just as equal flitting piece of paper that sometimes is attached to nothing and ends up lost; just like the ideas I attempt to store in my memory bank. I have so many half-filled notebooks that I can't even count them by myself. I have tried to color code the notebooks for specific topics, but if the proper color is not within reach when an idea occurs to me, I cheat and grab the one that is closest, convincing myself that I will remember which page of which color notebook that I made my little note. This practice only leads to much time wasted flipping through page after page of notebook after notebook. Still yet, this menagerie of a system is more trenchant¹ for producing quality writes than no system at all.
It is safe to conclude that the quality of my writings would lessen quite considerably if I did not make implementing a notebook a must-do practice, even if this practice is unorganized. It would be foolish of me to believe that I could systematically and successfully keep track of my thoughts and ideas on my own without a pen and some paper. If I did not implement this tool while writing my first draft of any type, I would be left with a stale, boring piece, not to mention weak and more than likely unread.
¹trenchant: 1. Keen; incisive; penetrating. 2. Forceful; effective; vigorous. 3. Sharply defined; clear cut.
Sheik, Adam. www.extelligence.co.uk http://www.extelligence.co.uk/words/trenchant/