Beneath my desk is a small box full of utility top-up receipts. Every once in a while I’ll reach down and use one for notes or scribbles and clip them together in a notebook or feed them to my paper shredder if they’re no good. (They were never meant for writing in the first place, so what’s the harm?)
The issue that never goes away for writers is our creator and our editor occupy the same space in our minds and more often than not it’s the editor who has the loudest voice. I think any writer who has stuck around long enough has found their own way to balance the two most of the time because otherwise we stay blocked.
In theory I use receipts to keep the inner editor asleep until I want its counsel. Receipts and other scraps of paper tip-toe past the editor because they’re not intended for writing. Notebooks and lined paper sound the alarm before I’ve even started to write because nothing says ‘writing’ like a notebook.
If it works, it works.
[…] Lila: An Inquiry into Morals is a novel about a writer writing a novel while sailing down the Hudson River with the eponymous Lila in tow. Phaedrus, the main character, coaxes his novel into existence with index cards instead of the traditional notebook or typewriter. As it turns out there’s a method to the madness. […]