“Well, I’ve kept journals all of my life
since I read my sister’s diary and decided I could do better. So I got a journal. Well, one thing about the journal that right
away worked for me was it was my own. It was like having your own bedroom, only
in a book. In my house there were always more people
than rooms. So you never had privacy. But you opened that book and there it was. It was your own rabbit hole. You would go down, and then you would write
in it your thoughts. And as soon as you put down a thought, it
would absolutely sort of jump alive, and you were surprised by what you had written. It wasn’t as though you had conjured it
up first and then put it down. It was more like you had a pen, and it was
like an Ouija board, and writing sentences just magically appeared. And I sort of was taken with that. Now, for young writers I think sometimes they’re
missing their fabulous moments. You know how often as an adult you might say
well, you know, I had such a great thought but I forgot it. You know, and then you think I should have written that down. Well, the same thing happens with kids too. I mean look at their days. Their days are long. They’re multifaceted. But if they had even a packet of post-it notes, even just a little tiny diary stuck in a pocket somewhere, and a bit of a pencil or a pen,
and if they had the sense and sensibility to go that was a great image, that was a great sentence, that was a great moment, that was a great idea, and just write a couple words. Now you know yourself. You’re lying in bed at night. You’re just falling asleep. The world’s greatest idea, the cure for
everything comes sweeping in scope in your mind in clarity, and you go “I’ll remember
that in the morning, and write it down.” Well, you wake up in the morning and you’re
feeding the cat, and then it’s lost. So naturally that journal goes on your bedside
table with a little pen in it. So you practice these what are called good
writing habits. The other thing, we all know this, seeing
is believing. When you write that sentence down, there it
is right there in black and white right in your journal. And that gives you confidence too. So I think the journal just becomes second
nature, you know. I always have one with me. I have several in my bag over there. And I take it to the gym. I have gym journals. I have my library journals. I have my good journals. I have my suit jacket journals. I have my back pocket journals. I even have a journal that is so small it
fits inside my wallet just in case. I never want to lose a good idea. It’s just good writing habits. And what it does is you know that you’re
loaded with a pen and paper. So why not find a good idea while you’re
out hunting around.”