Posted by: nancyisanders | November 6, 2010

Welcome to My World: Mini-Retreat

During the mini-retreat I took this last week to begin the launch of writing on my new book deadline, I created my personal writer’s notebook for this new manuscript. I went to the store and purchased a brand new 3-ring notebook, 2 sets of dividers, and a 100-sheet package of specialty paper.

In the past I’ve just purchased the cheapest view binder and tabs, and printed out my own front and back pictures/inspirational thoughts to slide in the front and back of the notebook.

This time, however, I spotted a DESIGNER notebook with antique looking flowers that had coordinating DESIGNER tabs and special DESIGNER paper with circles and stripes and flowers in rustic blues and browns and golds that all went together. It looked so “historic” and the price was just the same as the regular so I grabbed them, jumped up and down with excitement, ran to the checkout counter, and hurried home to have fun creating my notebook!

I put in the tabs and labeled the different sections I wanted to start with:

First and foremost, I always like to include inspirational Scriptures that give me purpose and encouragement. I also include quotes or other inspirational thoughts that I gather along my journey. On days when the project feels overwhelming, impossible, or too difficult to go on, I pull out this notebook, read through this section, and get encouraged to continue on.

For starters, I wrote out this Scripture in big, artistic letters on my pretty piece of specialty paper:

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.
-Zechariah 4:10.

I also like to include a section for prayers that I write down during my project. I’ll be working on this book until its deadline on June 15, 2012, so there will be lots of times I’ll be talking to God about it and praying for guidance!

In my next post, I’ll explain the timeline I’m including in my notebook.


  1. Nancy

    Congratulations on your next project. What a great quote that holds so true.

    • Thanks, Diane! Yes, I’m encouraged, even by small beginnings!

  2. Nancy,

    I’m so glad I popped into your Blogzone and got to see the actual scripture page you designed. How fun! What a great inspiration as you are plugging along.
    You said you have new deadlines, did the publisher change the deadline then? Hopefully they lengthened it!

    • Oh I’m glad you’re inspired, too, Val!

      And my new deadlines are for some short stories and articles that suddenly came in last week, plus a new proposal a publisher is interested in for a new book. Since I’m starting to write one book, I need to try to land a book contract with a deadline after that one is finished, so now is the time I’m sending out queries for new book ideas for deadlines in fall of 2011 and on into 2012.

  3. Beautiful scripture verse and design on your fancy “Nancy” paper! I love it. I like how you include verses, quotes, and prayers in this notebook.

    • Oh, those are my favorite parts of the notebook, Tina! Smile. -Nancy

  4. I am obsessed with all sorts of notebooks and love your design.

    Thanks for the scripture–I’m marking it in my Bible for future inspiration. Mitzi

    • I’m glad you like the Scripture, Mitzi…it’s one of my favorites as a writer! -Nancy

  5. What a beautiful and inspirational scripture. The notebook is a wonderful idea, and I like the design.

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