NaNoWriMo 2010 Gear: Paper.


While the question of which pencils to use for Nation Novel Writing Month is certainly an important one for pencil fans who are embarking on the one-month writing challenge.  But, perhaps almost as important, is the question of what to write on.

There are myriad notebook blogs, on which Comrades can find information about notebooks’ construction, which ones can handle fountain pen ink, etc. What we try to provide with our growing number of paper reviews are pencil-specific reviews. We have a growing stack (er, box) of review samples we are testing for ghosting, point retention, etc.  But, I thought it might be helpful to suggest a few great notebooks in which to write (or in which to take notes for) Comrades’ NaNoWriMo work — and, of course, invite others to share pointers.

1) Field Notes.  I was hoping my “Raven’s Wing” editions would show up this week, but it is not so.  Field Notes are stylish, durable and very pocketable.  I might not want to draft much longhand in these (they’re small and not full of much paper), but for on-the-go notetaking, it’s hard to beat a Field Notes book.

2) Rhodia products.  There are tiny stapled notebooks (like smaller Field Notes) for your pocket, the beautiful “Webbie” journals for long drafts and all manner of pads to suite your pocket or desktop.  The smartphone pocket of my T2 bag usually has a Rhodia pad in it, in some kind of Luddite gesture.

3) EcoJot Workbooks.  I was hoping we’d be able to publish a review of these from some samples Mark sent us in time for November, but it’s not to be.  The review is coming, but you’ll have to take my word for it that they are like Moleskine Cahiers.  Only greener.  With attractive covers.  And better paper.

4) Whitelines.  We’ll have a review of these interesting notebooks in the near future, but I think they bear mention for marathon writing.  The idea is that the pages are light grey, with white lines, since dark lines on white paper are harsh for the eyes.  It might sound strange, but these are very nice books, and the paper is intriguing.

5) Something FANCY.  A big MoleskinePaper Blanks.  Something handmade from Etsy.  I have a beautiful journal that my sister-in-law sent me for a birthday a few years ago made from an old library book and big rings that I am considering using, or a giant EcoJot journal.

I thought about listing books I would personally avoid, but I think that’s unnecessarily negative.  And, you know, one writer’s graphite mess is another’s silvery-grey paradise.

What are other Comrades planning to write in/on?

9 Responses to “NaNoWriMo 2010 Gear: Paper.”

  1. Adair says:

    Cheap yellow legal pads for first drafts and regular American marbled composition books. When on the road, Field Notes, Moleskine, or Ampad Reporter notebooks. Rhodia is great paper but too expensive. Same for those beautiful Postalco notebooks. The more costly and unusual a notebook or pad is, the more self-conscious and hesitant you might become as a writer.

  2. Eric says:

    I am going for something with some ‘tooth’, and stick to the cheaper products.

  3. Will says:

    I’m using my Moleskine (prefer Field Notes, but gotta use my stock up somehow) to jot ideas and a legal pad for long for writing. I find that steno pads work pretty well, too. They have enough space to write longform and can still fit in a bag.

  4. I’ve got two packets of school exercise books purchased from my local Sainsbury’s. That seems to be the thing for the first draft; I should finish writing my plan and notes in my Moleskine, though.

    • John says:

      It’s getting hard to find those in the US without spirals (and really junky spirals at that). I miss the unlined “copybooks” I used to find in college. The bookstore had a stock that I think I was the only person to take advantage of, until they were gone in my junior year.

  5. For NaNoWriMo, it’s basic composition books for me. I already know about how many words-per-page I write, making it easy to keep a running count, the wide ruling allows for relaxed handwriting, they have a bit of a margin for notes, and they’re the perfect size for schlepping around: big enough that they don’t feel cramped when I’m writing in ‘em, but small enough to slide easily into my bag. I number the pages for easy word estimates. I should just need two, since each holds roughly 30,000 words. And I have…um…more than two, so that won’t be a problem.

    I also carry around a small Moleskine for capturing moments of insight and inspiration. They’re awfully pricey, but they do hold up well, and since I’m just using them for notes, they last me a long while.

  6. wilsonknut says:

    Has anyone used any of the Doane paper products? I’m interested in the utility notebook in particular. I don’t like the “design story” on the back in the pictures I’ve seen, but that’s just my weird peeve. I like a very clean cover front and back. I can get over it if they are great notebooks. I currently use field notes for daily ideas on the run and a Moleskine reporter for longer writing.

  7. Robert M. says:

    Looks like I joined up at the last second and will give it a shot. I will probably use my Rhodia and Mnemosyne pads for general ideas, and though I’m loath to admit it, I may do my handwritten draft in a standard (large) Moleskine. Not because it’s particularly special, but because it’s what I have on my shelf that has a decent number of pages, an OK size, and a hard cover. I would try a Habana or something similar, but I don’t feel like throwing that much money away just yet. :D

    Got my pencil chosen too (mentioned in the other thread), but I have a Caran d’Ache Fixpencil 22 on the way soon that might get in the rotation as well. For notes, I’ll use whatever I have on me, which will most often be a Mono 100, Mars Lumograph, or an Item 17 (or of course a leadholder).

    May the muses be kind to everyone else participating.

  8. […] check out some old posts, from my last attempt in 2010 on paper and on pencils. That year, I wasn’t used to the whole Never Sleeping thing yet. I’m old […]

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