Due to a technical issue, I recently transferred this blog to a new host. Please contact me if you find any broken links or other problems.

Post-It Notes Can Help You Write Every Day

by Jennifer on February 9, 2010

By Cristina Picozzi

Not only have I been having a hard time deciding on what to write for this post, but I was definitely procrastinating as well. It took me a bubble bath to realize what to write.

I’ve decided to write about why I write.

I write because of the satisfaction I get after writing something powerful, small and rhythmic for an audience or for myself.

I write because it’s something I like and something I’m good at. I feel accomplished when I write, even if it’s something only a teacher will see.

It’s that great feeling that I get that makes me want to keep writing and not put it off.

Being in college, I don’t find a lot of time to write for myself or for fun, especially because I’m getting deep into my major and I’m surrounded by writing twenty-four-seven.

I’m on the newspaper staff at Utica College and, of course, I don’t procrastinate the stories I have to write for publication, but I sometimes find myself putting off my own writing because I believe I don’t have the time.

However, the past few days I have been finding a few minutes here and there, and I don’t know about other people, but I get my best ideas in the shower.

I have been having awesome ideas for stories, poems and plays. I’ve had so many concepts evolving in my head that I knew I needed to write them down. So I’ve been writing things on Post-It notes.

My reason for doing this is so it’s out of my head and written down somewhere.

It’s my first step toward sitting down and writing anything at all; getting the first idea down on paper.

After that I go back when I have more than a few minutes and I jot some things down on the same Post-It or I hop onto my computer and start writing.

The whole idea of Post-It notes or note pads is to help get things down on paper, even if it’s a quote or a random thought you have about a character in a piece of writing.

There are things every writer should remember when writing little notes for later:

  • Put them in a space where you won’t lose them. Keeping your notes together will make it easier when you go to look back on your ideas.
  • No idea is too dumb to write down. Sometimes we over-think our own thoughts and ideas and start to worry they aren’t good enough. It’s your writing, only you say what is good enough or not.
  • Even writing for a few minutes is a big deal because you took the time to sit down and get something down on paper instead of letting it sit in your head, or worse, letting yourself forget about it.

Just by getting things out of your head you can easily develop characters for stories, build a climax in a chapter and decide on dialogue for a scene.

Writing things down also gives ideas a more physical form, so it’s not just something in your head.

It also allows you to work at something. No one can just sit down and write a whole book in one sitting. By writing for 5 or 10 minutes a day and writing yourself little notes about ideas, you can slowly develop your writing and your story.

There’s no need to be in a rush to finish—of course deadlines and goals are important—but pacing yourself is too.

About the Author: Cristina Picozzi is a writer, an undergraduate at Utica College and one of the three Procrastinating Writers interns

Bookmark and Share

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Frantz February 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Ahhhh!! EXTREMELY HELPFUL ….I suffer from the same disease: procrastination. Working on my post-its now! THANK YOU!!!

2 Rebecca February 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I like index cards. I feel like I have accomplished something when I have a little stack.

3 Laura Lee Bloor February 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I used to journal a lot, but I’ve found since starting the blog that I hardly wrote in my diary at all. So now, I just mini-journal. I tell myself that even just a couple sentences summarizing what’s going on is plenty, and if I have more time and energy to write more, great, if not, hey, I’ve done enough. It has definitely helped me to journal more!
Rebecca, I like your index card idea, too!

4 jennifer blanchard February 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

@Rebecca I like index cards myself for story plotting/planning…but I also have Post-It notes all over my desk (and house, for that matter). 🙂

@Laura Lee Bloor Yea, I used to journal ALL the time growing up. In fact, when I wasn’t journaling, I was going out of my mind because I had too much stuff in my head! Now,half the time, I don’t even remember to journal… but I try to still find time to do it every now and then. What’s helped me is keeping a “journal” file on my computer (which I update every year). That way I can write/muse when the moment strikes me (since most of my days are spent in front of my computer).

Regardless of your process, the important thing to remember is do what works for you!

5 Michelle @ Find Your Balance February 9, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Perfect. I do actually have a big writing project ahead of me!

6 Jay February 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Twitter and Evernote function nicely for me as “online Post-Its” as well!

7 Cristina Picozzi February 9, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Post-It’s also allow me to rearrange my thoughts in front of me too

8 Larry February 10, 2010 at 4:25 am

Good stuff. Post-it notes are not only good for capturing and filing ideas, they are also one of the best story planning tools ever invented (by Mr. Post, who was undoubtedly a novelist, though some believe he was a screenwriter). If you hate the word “outline” (as many do), give post-its a try. Sixty or so carefully sequenced and fleshed out post-it notes on your fridge, bathroom ceiling or the back of your closet door can actually become the skeleton of your novel. And when you’re in revision mode, or you just want to try some new ideas out, they make the job a whole lot easier and orders of magnitude more efficient than trying to retrofit and jam those ideas into an existing or even an in-progress draft, or worse, just starting over.

Thanks to Jennifer for yet another tip on how to make writing more effectiv and efficient.

9 jennifer blanchard February 10, 2010 at 11:06 am

@Larry I am TOTALLY going to use Post-Its to plan out my story scenes! What a great idea!

10 Linda February 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Oh, I love this idea! And I am an office supply junkie, so I have tons of Post-It notes! Now I have a reason to use my stash!

11 dirtywhitecandy February 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Post-Its on the bathroom ceiling? I knew Larry was a giant among storyfixers, but?!! Seriously, though, Post-Its and index cards are an important part of my writing arsenal. As is the ability to whack down whatever half-formed sentences come into my head. I really like your point ‘no idea is to dumb to write down’ – one of the best things you can do for your creativity is to turn off the self-censor.

12 dirtywhitecandy February 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Post-Its on the bathroom ceiling? I knew Larry was a giant among storyfixers, but?!! Seriously, though, Post-Its and index cards are an important part of my writing arsenal. As is the ability to whack down whatever half-formed sentences come into my head. I really like your point ‘no idea is too dumb to write down’ – one of the best things you can do for your creativity is to turn off the self-censor.

13 Alanna Klapp March 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I love this! Thank you! I read the title of this post on Thursday but didn’t have time to start reading it, then on Friday I was literally given 8 pads of Kent State University Post-Its and knew I had to come back and finish reading this. I’m working on two projects with deadlines and have a flash fiction story I want to write that I never seem to have time for (along with a zillion other projects). You’ve given me a way to work on this while I work on the other stuff I have to work on. Great ideas! Thanks again!

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: