As we near the end of the year, it's time to look back on your journey through 2021. Specifically, your writing journey through 2021.

What have you managed to accomplish, and what goals have you achieved? Have you managed to hit your writing goals for the year?

Whether you have or have not achieved your writing goals, you should always be aiming to do more and do better every new year! In fact, the turn of the new year might just be the perfect time for you to pick up a new habit to keep you on top of your writing game in 2022.

This year, consider starting your very own writer's notebook!

What is a writer's notebook

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Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

A writer's notebook is a place for you to mind-dump about anything and everything writing-related! From a place to keep track of your writing journey to collecting references and inspiration for your story, your writer's notebook should be tailored to your needs! There is no such thing is as a "perfect" writer's notebook, and you shouldn't worry about having to stick to any rules.

Benefits of keeping a writer's notebook

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Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

"But why should I bother keeping one?" you may ask. Well, there are several benefits to keeping a writer's notebook, and why it can help start your writing journey on the right foot in 2022.

1. Keep track of your ideas

As a writer, every stray idea and thought that comes to your mind may bloom into an amazing piece of work. With a writer's notebook, you'll now have a single place to collect and keep track of all your ideas.

2. Your portable creative space

Even though it's most comfortable to write about genres, topics and mediums that we're used to, it's important to step out of our writing comfort zone once in a while, and a writing notebook is a great place for that!

3. A record of your writing journey

It's always fun to be able to look back at your writing journey and see how far you've come. A writing notebook can also serve as a personal journal about your writing — one that you can look back on fondly when you're in need for some motivation (or just in a nostalgic mood).

Ideas for your writer's notebook

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Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

Since there are no hard and fast rules on how you should start a writer's notebook, what goes into your notebook is entirely up to you! Whether you've chosen to use a physical notebook, a digital journal app or a writing software, here are some ideas you can pick and choose from.

1. A freewriting space

Freewriting (i.e, writing without pause or editing) can be a great way to warm-up your writing skills. It forces you to write whatever comes to mind without stopping, which makes it an excellent warm-up or method to help you break out of a writer's block.

Your writer's notebook can be that space for you to free write without needing to be perfect, without fear of judgement!

2. Journaling

As mentioned earlier, your writer's notebook can also be a place for you to write about your writing journey. Your struggles, your triumphs, your thoughts and feelings about what you've been reading or writing — these are all things that can be written into your writer's notebook.

3. Character sheets and interviews

We've talked about the importance of getting to know your characters and creating well-developed characters before. A great way to flesh out your characters is by filling in character sheets and by "interviewing" your characters. A writer's notebook can be a collection of all your character sheets and interviews for easy access and reference.

4. Brainstorming story ideas

Anything can be a story idea — a dream, a stray thought, a random occurrence you witnessed while out on an errand. With a writer's notebook that you can bring around, you'll always be ready to write down story ideas, no matter how small or how silly.

If convenience is what you're looking for, consider using JotterPad as your writer's notebook! JotterPad can be downloaded onto your mobile device (which you'll likely have at your side most of the time). Furthermore, you can also save your writer's notebook entries into a cloud service and access them on other devices, such as your personal laptop.

Access your writer's notebook entries across multiple devices, including web app, iPadOS, iOS and Android
Access your writer's notebook entries across multiple devices, including web app, iPadOS, iOS and Android

5. Collecting reference photos for inspiration

When it comes to creating characters, environments and general worldbuilding, it's always helpful to have visual references to spark inspiration. Add images and even drawings to your writer's notebook liberally to help you better visualize things in your story.

With JotterPad, you can add high quality Unsplash images into your documents to supplement your drafts and plans!

Add high-quality images for inspiration to your writer's notebook
Add high-quality images for inspiration to your writer's notebook

6. Plot out your novel

And of course, a writer's notebook can be a great tool for you to plot out your story structure, list out and arrange key story beats and brainstorm ideas for your novel in general!

Check out our guides on how you can plot a basic story outline andplan your first draft here!

We hope that this article has inspired you to pick up a writer's notebook of your own this new years! Have fun, good luck, and we hope you've had a great year of writing!