Miniature Notebooks – Snapshot Writing
I adore photography and the art of taking a great picture. From capturing a scene lit by the sun while it is low in the sky, to using macro focus to really capture the infinite detail of an object up close I find that looking back through past pictures is a wonderful way of transporting myself back to the moment being conveyed. Much as I love doing this through the medium of picture, I have recently being trying to achieve it through the use of a few choice words.
This aspiration was partly responsible for the advent of this blog of mine last year, and I have indeed felt that writing about my adventures near and far has helped me commit what I felt in certain specific moments to my long term memory. Reflecting on my experiences with a few hundred words at a time has been hugely enjoyable and I look forward to continuing to share with you my adventures and ramblings (right now in the case of the latter) but I also found myself wanting to use words in the same way I would a photograph. That is, to capture a single moment – its sights, sounds and the way it made me feel.
Wanting to record a specific moment with spontaneous, pure words meant that I needed something to write in, which I could have on my person nearly all the time. Obviously a phone would be the logical solution but I just felt that this wouldn’t have been the direct link between emotions and words that I desired. While exploring La Alameda neighbourhood of Seville last year I came across a shop selling tiny notebooks made from dried leaves and thick, textured paper. Small enough to sit in the palm of my hand and to slip into a jacket pocket, it was a perfect solution for my writing needs most specific. Perhaps I was going through a phase of being somewhat hard to please but the results of my rather specific intention for my use of the written word have been hugely rewarding.
I like to compare it to a tweet or micro blog that is not uploaded to the social media stage but is reserved as a form of private album. My miniature notebook has been filling up gradually with a variety of snapshot thoughts and feelings; from being inspired by sights I have seen to single phrase reflections on the day that has past. Sometimes I look back a few days in the book to see how the snapshot writing is going, but more often I save flicking back through it for a time further in the future. Once the book is full I will read back through all the brief notes I have jotted, remembering where I was when I wrote them and what feelings made me write the way I did.
Though I am a person with a passion for aesthetics and recording visual detail; I am intrigued by the prospect of using writing to record the briefest of snapshots in time. From a lady singing beautifully on the platform at Woking train station, to a shop in Stockholm wholly devoted to decorative lighting; there will always be something that inspires me to write in this way. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but think about how many pictures you can paint with just a few good words.