Our Putting Pen To Paper series, features different individuals & showcases what they use their favourite notebook for. It could be for to-do lists, sketching, design, song writing, illustrations, notes, daily gratitudes & everything in between.
This month we went inside the notebook of Anna Harrison, Founder of Words of Note. Anna’s vision is to explore language and its ever expanding limits.
I work with language in a multitude of ways under the umbrella of my freelance business, ‘Words of Note'. This typically includes feature writing, editing, storytelling and language design for clients, and creating visual art with words. Ultimately my goal is to constantly expand the limits of how language can be used to shape and impact our world.
When I’m writing creatively, definitely plain. The visual aspect of writing – where the words sit and how they relate to one another in space – is such an important part of the overall message of a creative piece. Unlined allows for more freedom in this respect. Having said that, sometimes the strictness of lines offers the illusion of order in my otherwise chaotic mind. I do love a list.
When do you put pen to paper?
Most of my “work” work is done on a laptop so when it’s time to get creative I want to get as far away from a screen as possible. I have no science to back this up, but I feel like something different happens in your brain when you’re writing with a pen as opposed to typing – there’s more of a flow but at the same time the stakes are higher because there’s no ‘delete’ key, so unless you want your page to be covered in chaotic black scratchings (as many of mine are) you have to choose your words more carefully. I also love a hardcopy diary. Call me old fashioned (or just old) but I just can’t get into iCal. If I want to know what I did on a Tuesday in March 2010, I want to be able to access that information by opening a drawer and reading it. And yes, I have kept every diary I’ve owned for the last ten years.
What inspired the Pen to Paper in your images?
I guess I just wanted it to be an honest pictorial my space and day-to-day work life. There is always a block of (very specific) dark chocolate on my desk, more pens than any one person should own, cookbooks that I re-read every morning over coffee because I think recipes should be memorised, and a legitimate cluster of notes and notebooks surrounding me at all times. I’m also a grade-A procrastinator so shopping lists, tangential thoughts and dumb notes to my husband probably appear more than they should in amongst the word salad that is my life.
What does journaling look like to you?
I suppose you could say my journaling is a bit atypical. Unless I’m writing a feature article that requires me to make sense, I don’t bother with linearity and logic in my personal writing. My notebooks are filled with abstractions – rambling poetry, disjointed notes on weird ideas, questions I’d like answered at some undetermined point in the future, obtuse thoughts that sound profound at the time but retrospectively aren’t. That kind of thing.
Feeling creative & want to put pen to paper yourself? Start HERE with Anna’s favourite Notebook & follow Words of Note on Instagram HERE.