A Month of Giveaways for Writers!

It's December, I'm in a holiday mood (my Christmas tree is already up and I'm in the process of finishing the decorating) so I've decided to give things away.  Not just once, but four times.

Here's how its going to work: on Monday, I'll announce the prize and ask a question related to writing.  You answer in the comments, and on Friday I'll randomly pick one of you to win the prize.  Please note: I'm not choosing you on the basis of the brilliance of your answers, so don't worry about that.  Just comment and you get a chance to win. (Also, all my commenters are brilliant and I adore and appreciate every one of you.)

A different prize will be announced every Monday in December, so come on back and check it out!

Okay, ready to find out what the first prize is going to be?  Drum roll, please…. Moleshine_lrg_journal

A Moleskine journal.  A Moleskine Classic Ruled Large notebook, to be precise.

I love Moleskine journals.  The paper is smooth and easy to write on, the basic size is easy to transport and you can manipulate the spine in various ways so as to make it easy to balance on your knee and scrawl in, if need be.  (The drawback with many perfect-bound journals is that you can't turn the cover back on itself and sometimes writing in a book that only opens flat can be awkward.)

Also there's an iconic feeling to the Moleskine, perhaps because generations of authors and writers and artists have used them throughout the years.  Writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin.  Artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso.

But, mostly I use Moleskines because I like them, plain and simple.  And when it comes to journals, you should use what you like, because if you do, you'll write in it more often. By the way, I've written a bit about journaling in this blog, and here are some of those posts:

The Writer's Notebook: Loving Moleskines

Journaling, One Path to Writing Abundance

Practical Considerations For Journal Writing

The Carry-Along Book

Okay, okay, here's the part you've been waiting for.  Just answer this question and you'll be entered into the contest to win a Moleskine:  Do you write in a journal regularly? Does it inspire your creative writing?  (Yeah, I know, two questions.  Consider it a Christmas bonus. Answer one or the other or both.)

Catch you back here Friday when I'll announce the winner!

(Also, please note, I have nothing to do with Moleskine, I just love their products.  They are not sponoring this giveaway, I'm doing it all by my little old self.)

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19 Responses to A Month of Giveaways for Writers!

  1. Zan Marie 12/05/2011 at 12:48 #

    Oooh, Charlotte! What’s not to love about a good classic like a Moleskine!
    I do journal. Most of the entries fit my devotional writing more than my fiction, but that’s still creative, isn’t it? ; )
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Charlotte Dixon 12/05/2011 at 13:20 #

    And Merry Christmas to you, Zan Marie! I was hoping you’d enter the contest!

  3. Nicole Wolverton 12/05/2011 at 14:34 #

    I journal regularly — both in a writing journal and an art journal. Sometimes it does play into my creative writing. The other day I was out and about, sat down to drink a coffee, and ended up writing out a description of a pretty entryway. No doubt it’ll end up in some piece of writing.

  4. Charlotte Dixon 12/05/2011 at 14:46 #

    Oh, Nicole, you are my kind of woman! I’m always encouraging students to do just that–take advantage of being out and about to write up what you see. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the contest.

  5. Jessica Baverstock 12/06/2011 at 03:22 #

    *Hangs head and looks guilty.*

    I have several journals, each for specific things. I have my idea journal which has been with me for several years. Then I have my ‘proper’ journal which includes lists, emotional rants and morning pages. Then I have a blog ‘journal’ where I scribble down ideas and parts of posts. Is that technically a journal or a notebook? Then I sometimes have an A4 notebook/journal where I write down longer rants or excerpts from my current projects. I’m just drowning in journals, and I take them with me when I travel. (If it’s a competition between my shirts and my journals…I’ll just wash more often while I’m on holiday.)

    Anyway, I don’t write in my ‘proper’ journal anywhere near as much as I should. I know this because I do feel more creative when I’m doing my morning pages. It helps to get things moving in my head at the beginning of the day. I get more ideas and it’s easier to put them down on paper because my pen is already moving. But the whole process requires me levering myself out of bed earlier in the morning and that doesn’t happen as often as it should.

    Woah, that was a much longer comment than intended.

    As much as I like Moleskines, I’m worried that another journal would topple my bookcase.

  6. J.D. 12/06/2011 at 04:34 #

    Okay, I’m in. Now if I could only create nude drawings or had secrets worth writing about . . . .

  7. Charlotte Dixon 12/06/2011 at 10:03 #

    Jessica, I daresay that you’re not writing in your journals as much anymore because you are busy writing a novel! That’s what happens to me. If I’m not deeply engrossed in a novel, I’ll get up every morning and write in my journal. But as soon as the novel starts getting juicy, I abandon my journal. It is always there waiting for me when I return, though. And I just love your description of all your journals. Have you ever read The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing? Its a bit of a slog, but a feminist classic in which the heroine has multiple journals and at the end integrates them all into one.

    J.D. If you win, you’ll be able to use the Moleskine to plot your novels! And maybe throw in a few racy thoughts in between…

  8. Liz Taylor 12/06/2011 at 11:15 #

    Hi Charlotte, and Merry Christmas! I have to admit that when we had our coaching session months ago, I was not familiar with Moleskin journals. (I later Googled them.) What a great prize.

    I have never been a big journal writer, per se. But after you suggested journaling, I started using a red composition book to jot down ideas, snippets, etc., and that has certainly helped me capture ideas for blog posts before they vanished from my head, lost forever. :)

  9. Square-Peg Karen 12/06/2011 at 16:13 #

    Merry Christmas, Charlotte. My daughter introduced me to Moleskines and, like you, one of the things I love about them is that the “paper is smooth and easy to write on,” – there’s something yummy about the paper in them!

    I’ll answer both of your questions: Do you write in a journal regularly? Well…I have a little problem with “regularly” – so I’d have to say that I don’t exactly journal regularly. BUT, since I’ve been journaling for many years – and often (though not regularly) – I consider myself a journaler (if that makes sense).

    Also, I’d probably include my computer ‘notes to self’ journaling – so now that I’m writing this out I might change my answer to yes (might’ve figured it out before I started typing, but then I often learn things while I”m writing or typing – which is why journaling is soooo good!).

    Does it inspire your creative writing? Yep. For the reason mentioned above (when I was realizing – mid type – that I DO journal regularly) — I wind up exploring new ideas, finding out what I didn’t even know I knew, learning things, etc. when I journal.

    Thanks for inspiring me to think about this!

  10. Charlotte Dixon 12/06/2011 at 16:47 #

    Hi Liz, So glad you’ve started using a journal to capture your ideas! I love those idea books that end up with all kinds of random stuff in them–I swear you close the covers on them and they breed more ideas, like rabbits. Sounds like you and your writing are doing well, and I’m so glad.

    Hi Karen, I think we can consider “regular” to be a loose term. Your journal-writing habit sounds like mine–life-long, but it waxes and wanes. If I’m going through a lot, I’ll write it in a lot. Other times it sits waiting for me, though I generally am good at filling it with bits and pieces. And don’t you love it when you realize that you actually do do something regularly?

  11. Sierra Gardner 12/06/2011 at 17:32 #

    Hm… so I definitely keep a notebook full of ideas and thoughts for me writing. I’m much less diligent about a personal journal but I try to write something down once in a while. I regularly review my idea notebook and it definitely boosts my creativity!

  12. Charlotte Dixon 12/06/2011 at 21:35 #

    Hi Sierra, The comments seem to be about evenly split between those who keep journals and those who keep idea books. And I bet a lot of us do some combination of the two. Love hearing about everyone’s journaling habits!

  13. Carole Jane Treggett 12/07/2011 at 08:01 #

    I have one snazzy journal I got as a gift two years ago, but each time I’ve opened it, pen poised, I hesitate. Put pen aside, close the notebook slowly, caress the soft leather-esque cover slowly. I’m afraid I’ll ‘ruin’ it by writing crappola on its pages LOL.

    So I move quickly to my bargain store composition books. I use one for each creative project or practice I’m working on. My ‘morning pages’ and ‘snippets/blog post ideas’ notebooks are worse for daily wear. I do have one tiny ‘moleskin wannabe’ in my purse (hardly paid anything for it) for jotting down random notes when I’m out and about and can’t find a napkin handy. Hmm, that reminds me, I should go through those notes since I believe I did have some monumental ideas from time to time hit me while on the road that I might be able to use for some current work…

    I always find such value in your posts and your encouragement in general, Charlotte. So glad you’re here! Have a joyful Christmas.

  14. Charlotte Dixon 12/07/2011 at 10:33 #

    Hi Carole Jane, You bring up such a great point, that sometimes the snazziest journals are the ones we don’t use precisely because we are afraid of ruining it. My journals need to be able to stand up to having coffee spilled on them, their spines bent back, their pages torn, and so on. All that just makes me love them more! And yes, do go through those notes, I bet there’s gold in them. I’m glad I found you this year, too.

  15. Tessa 12/08/2011 at 05:53 #

    I have been journaling for years, but like most habits, it waxes and wanes. This is a great inspiration to get back into the flow. My journal is just about filled up. When January starts it will be time to crack open a brand new one.

    Don’t you love selecting the next journal?

  16. Holly-Marie 12/08/2011 at 13:32 #

    Hi Charlotte!
    I do write in my journal regularly. I find it helps me gain clarity and focus. When I look back over my musings later it sometimes inspires my creativity. Mine is filled up now so I sure could use a new one! :-)

  17. Charlotte Dixon 12/09/2011 at 06:23 #

    Tessa, I do love choosing my next journal! Moleksines are my favorites, but I’m unable to limit myself just to them. I usually end up returning to them about every 2nd or 3rd journal or so. I love going to office supply and stationary stores and browsing the aisles!

    Holly Marie, Clarity and focus are two very good words to apply to journal writing. I agree that journal writing really helps.

  18. chabersztyna 12/13/2011 at 10:04 #

    Of course, I write in journal. Regulary? I try. I have one notebook for ideas for polymer clay, one for drawings, one for recipes, one as stricte journal… Sometimes I think I should keep all my works in one notebook, I’m loosing controle of amount of my journals.
    Polymer clay journal is very heplful and my favourite. All my ideas and wise about PC is kept in one place. I want to do something but i don’t know what? Let’s take a look into the journal…(or maybe “to the journal”, I don’t speak english perfectly. That reminds me I’ve got another one notebook for english words from subs from anime >_< ). I my second fav is my “stricte journal”. I can sum up all my rises and falls and I will plan improvements and ideas associated with my defects. You know, something like personal development :)

    Merry Christmas, Charlotte.

  19. Charlotte Dixon 12/13/2011 at 12:16 #

    Thanks for chiming in, chabersztyna! Sounds like you have lots of journals in process.
    TITLE: Braylen Hofmann
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    BLOG NAME: Braylen Hofmann
    DATE: 12/29/2011 01:01:29 AM
    I cannot thank you enough for the blog article.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

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