Tag Archives: journals

What does your phd notebook look like?

I’m writing this with my left thumb. Sparrow (I haven’t decided yet whether to name my children in this blog, so for now they have pseudonyms) has woken for a feed and sucks deeply, his head warm and heavy in the crook of my arm. Bronchialitis makes it hard for him to breathe and so a vaporiser bubbles at the foot of his cot, and I feed, and write with my left thumb.

I’ve been thinking today about notebooks after reading The Thesis Whisperer’s recent post. There were some great tips about keeping a phd notebook, but nothing about the actual notebook. I mean, how big? Lined or unlined? Thick pages or thin? A cheap throwaway thing from the supermarket or a leather bound journal? How precious should this object be? And don’t get me started on pens and then post-its. Because sometimes it’s about the aesthetic.

Some of the my best work was written in a very large, very heavy, black fabric bound book. Thick, cream, unlined pages. I bought it to honor my work. But then some of my favourite poems have been scrawled on the backs of mandarin stained receipts scraped from the bottom of my bag.

My right thumb now which is good, faster. Sparrow still sucks, and breathes, and sucks. He likes to hold my hand while he feeds. Not hold, he likes to touch. It is the lightest thing, the feeling of those four fingers resting on my wrist. As if to say stay. To say I know you, and right now you are mine.

Back to the look of things. When I set up this blog the first thing I did was try out themes. I love to play with appearance, to have a beautiful space to write into and out from.

What does your phd notebook look like?

Feed’s finished. To bed.