As a designer, I kept a daily sketchbook. I’d practice perspective, detail, shading, or just draw a subject that caught my fancy.
As a writer, I keep a situational sketchbook. I jot down dialogue, settings, characters, conflicts, and specific details that intrigue me, and may find a place in a story. I hate to lose or miss anything juicy that I experience so I pop it in my writer's sketchbook to pluck later.
I just finished a three-day stint in the hospital, so of course I sketched my experience with words. In my writer’s sketchbook, I chronicle in bullet points. Here’s a peek:
- Nurse #1 hates me. Her upper lip curls at me all snarly
- No matter how you arrange the hospital gown, you always flash your hiney
- All hospital meat is a weird version of turkey meatloaf
- Nurse #1 has one eye bigger than the other
- Hospitals are not for sleeping
- The show NURSE JACKIE is not available on the hospital TV
- Nurse #1 will abandon you on the commode for an hour – take reading material
- Graveyard shift male nurses are the most entertaining
- “I will ask your doctor. I will ask the nurse. I will make no decisions.”
- Nurse #1 works more hours than anyone else
- Flesh-eating tape is used for wound dressings
- Beware of nurses who don’t wear athletic shoes
- Nurse #1 smells like the 99 Cents store
- There is some weird covenant against daily patient teeth-brushing
- Catheter, I.V., Bedpan, oh my.
- Nurse #1 will require mental leave time if we are together one more day
What does your writer’s sketchbook look like?