Posted by: nancyisanders | July 13, 2019

Writer’s Journal: Jane Austen


When I wrote my newest book, JANE AUSTEN FOR KIDS, I made the decision to keep many of my research notes in a handwritten journal.

I didn’t realize at the time that I would be creating SEVEN handwritten journals along my 2 1/2 year journey, lol, but I knew I would need certain supplies to get the process started.

Since I’m a children’s writer, I love to PLAY as I write, so I already have a little kid’s backpack filled with the basics. Several years ago I spotted this one with a purple, pink, and green butterfly design and got it for all my crafty supplies. This backpack is handy to carry around with me as I decorate my journals, which is an ongoing process while I’m writing and working on my manuscript. When I travel, however, I leave this backpack at home and just take along basic supplies such as my scissors and glue and pens.

When I want to create my research journals for my writing projects, my favorite book to use is a wide-ruled blank composition notebook with 100 pages. I get them for about $1 each at Walmart. You can purchase some with cute designs, or (as I like to do) decorate your own.

I love to decorate my own journals because I can make each one really support the theme and purpose that I’m using it for. For example, one of my journals for this book project covered an event I attended called the JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA’S (JASNA’s) ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING. I used images from the brochures to decorate the cover and interior of my journal.


Basic supplies for each book include:

* Quick-drying glue that dries in less than a minute. The brand I’m currently using is SCOTCH QUICK-DRYING TACKY GLUE. I love gluing the cover design or interior pages, letting it dry for 30 seconds, and then moving onto the next page. This is especially important when I’m creating a travel journal as I’m visiting historic sites or places pertinent to my research and documenting information in my journal on the go. I don’t have time to let things dry overnight in my frenzy to document key events as they are happening. (When I fly, I pack this glue in my check-in luggage or carry a glue-stick on the plane.)

* Scissors: a nice, comfortable pair is a must to save your hands and wrists. When I travel, I pack a small but good pair. Even flying international, no airport has ever made me leave it behind.

* I also have a set of cheap decorative scissors when I want to put a pretty edge on things.

* My favorite pens for writing in my journal plus fine-tip permanent markers for writing over glossy paper such as tickets or brochures that I glue into my journal.

* Portable mini-paper cutter. I use this a lot, actually, and keep it closed with rubber bands. It’s so handy for cutting things really straight.

* In a separate totebag I have several large square books of sturdy designer scrapbooking paper that I cut to cover my book’s covers.

* Not shown that I keep inside my backpack is my collection of scrapbooking stick-ons available at Walmart or most craft stores. I also keep birthday cards and collect pretty magazines or calendars related to my project. Plus I like to collect different fonts of alphabet stickers to use for writing my notebook titles or other titles in the interior. Most anything related to scrapbooking supplies can be used in your journaling adventures!

If you already keep handwritten writing journals (or plan to) are there any other types of essential supplies you recommend?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: