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What is your most precious resource? #WriteBravely

Write Tribe Blogging ChallengeToday is the second day of Write Tribe Festival of Words. Yesterday’s post was about a treasure you possess,” and today’s is about “a resource you use.”

The resource I use the most is of course all about my writing– in fact, it IS my writing.

Writing notebookOver the last years, I’ve scribbled into dozens of notebooks of all shapes, colors and sizes. I buy a notebook or two wherever I travel. A stop at the stationery shop is a must. I’ve never thrown away a word I’ve written, and now I have a mid-sized cupboard all filled with my writing notebooks.

During this time, whenever I’ve wanted to start a fresh piece of flash fiction or short story, I’ve gone back, read all the free writing crammed into a notebook, and fished out a phrase or two that worked. Sometimes words lead to more words, especially when writing very short fiction, so the snippets from an old notebook can be an invaluable resource.

I still write by hand, at least once a day, a page or more. Over time, this has become not just a record of my growth as a writer, but a physical reminder of the hours I’ve put in. When mired in self-doubt, I open my cupboard, and tell myself– you’ve done a fair amount of apprenticeship, you’re ok.

And when some of the snippets lead to published pieces, like this one, that won a commendation at the Bath Flash Fiction Award, or this one at a journal run by the Antioch University, I hold my notebooks all the closer. They might be full of crappy lines, but some of them can be salvaged still.

What about you? What is a resource you use often? Do you ever write by hand, in a notebook? Do you keep everything you’ve written?

I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post Bloggingthe last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.

This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here is a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of August 25th!

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Great topic, Damyanti. Like you, I have a huge supply of notebooks, scraps of paper, etc. that I’ve written on, over the years. I love writing by hand (it used to be by pencil, but a lot of that has smeared now). When it comes to transferring my handwriting into the computer, however, I sometimes run into problems because I take my notebook(s) just about everywhere (even to bed), so the writing can get very sloppy. But I’ve found a brand and type of pen I really love, so I’m writing a lot by hand lately. Many good wishes for your continuing writing successes!

  • Mummasaurus says:

    Those are some crazy accolades!
    You still write by hand? i think, all of us as bloggers should do that – no matter hoe w much I’d prsonally love to type on a laptop instead.

  • dgkaye says:

    I write all my books in longhand. Talk about pre-historic? Lol πŸ™‚

  • Venomous snakes in the trees? That would be a little creepy. Sounds like a memorable place, Damyanti. πŸ™‚

  • Glynis Jolly says:

    These days all of my writing is done by keyboard. Every once in a great while, I think about going back to spirals but soon dump the idea. I used to have decent penmanship but it is such a struggle for me now. Without that, there is not any use in trying because I have such a hard time reading my own writing. I guess my precious resource is this keyboard.

  • Pratik Kirve says:

    Random thoughts, my own experiences, and imaginary conversations I have in mind are my resources. I got a good idea from this post that I have never used as a resource-to use random scribbling from diary to develop a story. Thanks for that, I will try it.
    I have notebooks of different sizes, but I love to write in a pocket diary. I carry it wherever I can. I have kept everything I have written in all the diaries.

  • I still write by hand. Then type it out. My mind goes blank whenever I try to use PC for writing. I carry a notebook and a note pad in my handbag and while travelling there will be one or two in each back. Guess notebooks are kind of addictive. And Congrats on the writing wins. πŸ™‚

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Sheethal—I write better by hand at the outset, but once i have a draft, I write better on the PC. We must do what works for us, I guess.

  • I too enjoy writing by hand with paper and pen. So naturally creative writing journals are my all time favorites. Writing is therapeutic for me.

  • Shalzzz says:

    It’s been a while since I wrote something on paper even though I scribble vague ideas. Time to begin again. πŸ™‚ Congratulations on your wins, Damyanti!

  • Nick Wilford says:

    I love this! Just goes to show how important it is to write down those thoughts. You never know what they can lead to.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      I keep writing, and write everyday– most of it is quite crappy tho. Thanks for the visit, Nick.

  • Christy B says:

    I constantly have paper notes with story ideas, poetic lines, or thoughts for future blog posts. Great to learn about your notebooks, D <3

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Most writers do, I guess. My notebooks are creating storage problems now πŸ™‚

  • pjlazos says:

    Ah, the joy of a fresh notebook and a new pen! I do something similar. When I think of a phrase or hear something that intrigues me, I throw it in a folder and when I’m working on a novel, I pull a few phrases out either as a jump start or to incorporate. Half the time I forget what the original context was so everything starts fresh. It’s very fun. And you! You are amazing with all the writing kudos you are receiving so your techniques are working! Keep going strong! oxo

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks Pam. These are all old, but yeah, I’m keeping on keeping on. I don’t write phrases in notebooks, they go into a file on my phone– to use as prompts when I write. I’m not amazing, just lucky. SO many more people in this world so much better at this writing business.

  • Congratulations on the accolades won, Damyanti! You know you are an inspiration to many, myself included! I love collecting notebooks and a visit to a stationery shop is a must whenever I travel to new places just to check out the stuff! I love to write by hand too…the feel of pen on paper is something that still evokes a sense of wonder and magic in me.

  • I also have a scribbling book where my raw thoughts go before I type it out. It’s a good resource to have and something to fondly look back on how your posts evolved.

  • Akshata Ram says:

    Thats quite an interesting way of journalling and using the snippets for your posts. Congratulations on the various accolades you won!

  • Rajlakshmi says:

    You are an amazing storyteller. It’s no wonder that your works have won awards πŸ™‚ I should try writing by hand more often. I do write but not so frequently.

  • I write in my multiple diaries too .It’s fun writing longhand .

  • Before i became blind i used to write on notebooks, loose piece of papers i found laying around, even an artful scrolling on the walls of my bedroom (it drove my mother insane, but my bedroom was my sacred space), then during the time i was expiriencing vision loss, i stopped writing altogether. I’ve since picked up the habit again, though i do it now on my laptop (which i might add is full of one or two lines, saved documents that i can’t bring myself to delete). like you said, alot of them are just crap, but alot of them are also nice sentences that even i am surprised that i was the one who wrote it.

  • WoW! That’s empowering writing Damyanti. Love how you craft pen on paper everyday. I keep a diary but write once in a while. Need to get back into practice mode.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Thanks, Vishal. You’re just very kind. I think most of writing is discipline and perseverance (and luck! let’s not forget luck!). Talent is really quite secondary.

      • U really think talent is secondary? What about hardwork, believe and belief? Do agree somehow on the luck thing.

        • Damyanti Biswas says:

          Yes, talent is secondary. I have Nil talent, and I still managed to get a ton of stories published–hard work and perseverance. I don’t know about belief. I have a sort of apathetic perseverance– keep sending things out till they get accepted.

          • I don’t think you have nil talent and read some of your amazing fictions that stirred and touched the heart. It looks you are one of the most confident writers and not saying it for effect, Damyanti.

            • Damyanti Biswas says:

              That’s very kind of you to say, Vishal. But in my case, it is more of practice and perseverance than anything else.

              • Hmm! I am being truthful. Yes! I need to hone my practice. I am going crazy and bonker with the joy ride I wanna inject in the novel. I was able to write a lil last week after a long lull. Guess, I will take some more time to make that part happen.

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I am going to say ‘my brain’ because it has to deal with so many aspects of new information – found via blogging or in the process of always considering what next for blogging … and other aspects of the WWW. I use resources … but my brain is always full to the fore – to research, find, and absorb new information … that probably I should have learnt years ago but haven’t … and now horizons broaden. The machine is my landing area … but I do make notes in longhand – but then must translate to type – cheers Hilary

  • BellyBytes says:

    Ah Damyanti – the thrill of scribbled thoughts on paper is unchallenged. Sadly I am getting more and more lazy about putting pen to paper and I have at least a dozen diaries with a few half filled pages….

  • Vinay Leo R. says:

    I used to write in notebooks at times, but have lost that habit somewhat. I think I have to get back to that. πŸ™‚ Thank you, damyanti.

  • Bhavya says:

    Going back to our free writes for inspiration is a great idea! I think I am going to pick up that from you. Thank you for sharing, Damyanti.

  • Shilpa Garg says:

    I really like your habit of writing every day. Congratulations for your published work and awards too!
    I used to have a lot of journals in school/college, but now everything that i write is on my laptop and phone. Lists of things to do/buy is all that I write by hand these days!

  • Apeksha Rao says:

    I always start a new story, in a notebook. It helps to clear my mind. Writing on paper, also helps to break me out of a block. Seeing my handwriting on paper, stimulates the creative juices. ?

  • arlene says:

    When I blog I write directly from my PC but I have a journal, a smorgasbord about anything under the sun even jotting down when I paid my utility bills. An idea is usually written on some small notes that I save later for my journal.

  • bamauthor says:

    My resource is the wealth of experience I have been able to glean during my long career as a historian and educator over a span of forty years.

  • cindy212 says:

    I keep notebooks, also. Sometimes I hear someone say something and I scribble it down. Or, I think of something in the middle of the night, and jot it onto paper. I keep notebooks for all the backstory on characters — some stuff gets changed, or snippets can be used for a different novel. And … I keep scads of information on hand that is research into areas of the world in which I have no expertise.

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