My Writer’s Bible, Bullet Journal, and Notebook

by Burgess Taylor

October 2016

(A video of this content is at the bottom of the article.)

My Camp NaNoWriMo Spread, including a word count tracker, April’s calendar, tasks, and some inspiration.
My Camp NaNoWriMo Spread, including a word count tracker, April’s calendar, tasks, and some inspiration.

Back in April,  I started my Writer’s Bullet Journal in a large (well, it’s the Master) Leuchtturm 1917, but it was just too big to handle easily. Forget taking it anywhere. And it didn’t fit in my Writer’s Bible, which is a custom Jonelifish TN (traveler’s notebook). I tried the softcover Leuchtturm 1917 and loved it, but it became harder and harder to find, so when I got down to the last few pages of it I decided to use a Midori A5 grid notebook I had, since it could also be housed in my Writer’s Bible and replace the filled softcover Leuchtturm1917.

Self Explanatory
Self Explanatory

With NaNoWriMo quickly approaching, I needed to get things together. I had 6 weeks to prepare for November 1st and when I really thought about it–that just didn’t feel like enough time, but HEY! a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do. So I got my butt in gear and started preparing. My husband said, “It’s not November yet, why are you doing Nano stuff now?” I looked up at him with my serious face. “It’s almost the end of September. I’ve got to get things ready…” I said.  And then I looked down at my Writer’s Bible and said, “I’m excited and there’s a lot of work to do.” And like Jake at the end of the Gunslinger, my husband nodded and said, “Well go on and do your NaNo stuff then.” It’s not as good as “there are other worlds than this,” but it made me happy. And since I’m using Arwen’s 33 Days to Finish Your Novel course again I knew I’d need to start at least 33 days before NaNoWriMo. I really do love using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey to outline.

Camp NaNo April 2015 (?) Writer’s Bible, Laptop, and Starbucks’s White Chocolate Mocha
Camp NaNo April 2015 (?) Writer’s Bible, Laptop, and Starbucks’s White Chocolate Mocha

So here I am, preparing for NaNoWriMo once again. Only this year, I know so much more than I did the previous years… with each passing year I learn more about myself as a writer. I’ve learned more about writing, outlining, pantsing, branding oneself, the writing community, editing videos, taking pictures, planning and using a bullet journal, what works best in my Writer’s Bible, and what I need in order to survive NaNoWriMo. Not that I don’t aim to write between 1000-2000 words per day during the rest of the year, but there is something about NaNoWriMo and the various writing communities that pushes you do do more, to try new things, to expand your horizons, and to get your ass in the chair every day and WRITE! And the planning community, especially the bullet journal community has given me such great ideas for how to plan out things in my Writer’s Bible and Writer Bullet Journal.

NaNoWriMo 2016: Writer’s Bible, which includes my Writer Bullet Journal, my Writer Notebook, a few supplies, Tarot Cards
NaNoWriMo 2016: Writer’s Bible, which includes my Writer Bullet Journal, my Writer Notebook, a few supplies, Tarot Cards

When I first talked to Jonel Imutan about making me a Writer’s Bible, a TN specifically for my writer stuff, I knew I wanted something unique, functional, and that fit me. I told her what I wanted, and left it up to her which style of typewriter to engrave on the front, and how to coordinate the colors, and once it was done I got to name it–Shakespeare. Thought I’d have named it something from a Stephen King novel, huh? Nope. Though I love King’s works, and he’ll always be my favorite and he’s a genius, there’s something about Shakespeare that has always spoken to me.

I have done numerous videos that have featured Shakespeare (my Writer’s Bible), and over time it has become even more supple and pliable, more functionable because I’ve learned what works best for me, and it’s always subject to change if I find that something isn’t working.

Midori A5 Grid Notebook that I’m using as my Writer Bullet Journal
Midori A5 Grid Notebook that I’m using as my Writer Bullet Journal

Inside my Writer’s Bible, the first notebook is the Midori A5 Grid Notebook that I’m using for my Writer Bullet Journal. I printed what you see on the cover, which I found on Pinterest. I love what it says: Punch Today in the Face. Some days you just have to do that… and I know there will definitely be days during November when I am going to feel like punching something in the face. 😀 Don’t get me wrong, NaNoWriMo is awesome, but it’s chaotic. I’ve tried pantsing during NaNoWriMo, writing by the seat of my pants, and I failed. I love the idea of pantsing…of writing intuitively with no outline, just writing, but I was flailing around like a fish on land by the middle of November when I did that. Since then I’ve been working on the method of planning that works best for me. It feels like I’ve found it–using Tarot and the Hero’s Journey, Arwen’s method specifically, has really helped me find my groove with outlining. I used it last year and I’m using it again this year. I’ve also tried the Save the Cat method, along with a few others.

burgess-taylor-6On the inside, the cover page, I pasted a picture that I got from NaNoWriMo 2015 for inspiration… it reminds me of what I’m supposed to be doing… WRITING, plus it has fun things in the picture like Coffee, Pens, Ink, a Notebook…and let’s not forget my Coffee magnet bookmark. I love how this picture makes me feel. So below is a gallery I created of the rest of the inside of my Writer Bullet Journal. I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. It’s still a work in progress though.. and I made a few boo boo’s…  but overall I like it. I can live with the mistakes, it just gives my Writer Bullet Journal character. 😀

Next is the Index, and then the Future log. Nothing complicated about either of those. I have been working on this new Writer Bullet Journal since September 20th and so far I’ve gotten a few things done, but there’s still much more that I need to work on. I’m trying to stay organized. There’s so much to keep up with that I had to get organized if I want to get things done, especially if I want to be efficient. It’s about working smarter not harder.

Shiny New Ideas Notebook
Shiny New Ideas Notebook

The next notebook in my Writer’s Bible is the “new shiny ideas” notebook for writing. If I get an idea about a character, a novel, a scene but I’m not sure it goes in the current WIP then I write it down in this notebook.

NaNo YT and Blog Insert
NaNo YT and Blog Insert

And here is the third notebook in my Writer’s Bible.

The first page is my NaNo Prep YT video list

NaNo Prep YT Video List
NaNo Prep YT Video List

And the next page is the NaNo Prep Blog Post List:

NaNo Prep Blog Post List
NaNo Prep Blog Post List

And the last notebook in my Writer’s Bible. Its a Clairefontaine notebook and I use it as my Writer Journal. I write down how my writing or outlining is going. What I think, etc.. The pages are wonderful for fountain pens. 😀

Clairefontaine Notebook
Clairefontaine Notebook

And last but not least, is my Writer Notebook. It is where I write out what I’ve learned from using the outlining method. I am not sure of where I got this notebook. I believe it might have been Walmart. I love the paper for writing. And I love that the pages are sectioned by different colors, and that at the top it has a little section where you can either write the date or the page number. I’ve chosen to write the page numbers.

And that’s it… at least for now. I have a lot of work to do this afternoon and this evening to write down what I learned about the Call to Adventure. I go back through my notes from my Writer Bullet Journal and then summarize it in the Writer Notebook.

Links to some of the things I’ve mentioned are below. Note:

Arwen’s YT video using Tarot for writing 

Arwen’s Course Info 

Tarot for Writer’s by Corrine Kenner  

Wizards’ Tarot Deck by Corrine Kenner 

Rider Waite Tarot Deck 

My Writer’s Bible 


Hey Y’all! My name is Burgess Taylor. I’m a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother, among other things, like an avid book reader, journal junkie, blogger, and coffee enthusiast.  I started blogging almost a decade ago, and that eventually led me down the rabbit hole of YouTube thanks to researching NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Thanks to the support and encouragement of my husband (AKA Mr. Rockstar), I started writing again and signed up for NaNoWriMo 2011. I’d participated in NaNoWriMo in 2007 (I believe), but lost that year. And I didn’t start writing again until 2011. For three years, I watched YT videos, specifically about NaNoWriMo. For more than a year I searched for YouTubers around or close to my age bracket. (I’m now 49 years old). But there were few out there. In October of 2014, I posted my first video to YT—it was about preparing for NaNoWriMo. Since then, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of planner videos, journal videos, Hobonichi and Fauxbonichi, Omni Journals, Bullet Journals, art videos, booktube and writetube.

I never intended to post anything except NaNoWriMo videos. My hope was that other writers who were closer to my age would enjoy seeing videos from someone who wasn’t in their teens or twenties…as NaNoWriMo 2014 came to a close, a few of my viewers asked if I would still be making videos. Make more videos? I wasn’t sure, but as time passed and I watched more and more videos about planners, journals, books, DITL, reviews, and more I realized there were other topics out there.

I fell in love with channels like Rhomany’s Realm, MissVickyB, Carie Harling, Katytastic (I love her writing videos), Tamara Woods (PenPaperPad), Maya Goode, Shannon Greene, Kristina Horner, Little Book Owl,  the WordNerds, and many others.

Since 2014, my YT channel has grown. I hit 1K subscribers in September. I’ve gone from having a free blog on WordPress to having my own website. I’m also on Twitter  (@BurgessTaylor1), Instagram (@burgess.taylor.5), and Facebook.  Thanks y’all. 

5 thoughts on “My Writer’s Bible, Bullet Journal, and Notebook

  • October 1, 2016 at 5:17 PM
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    What an awesome inspiring story. I love you passion for pen, paper and words. Extra kudos on the video too. I believe that each of us has a story to tell and like me, many of us just don’t take the steps to write it, if only to save our own souls. Thanks to your article, I now have a list of suggestions to help my project along. This has certainly sparked my enthusiasm for writing my own story. YES!!

    Reply
  • October 3, 2016 at 2:45 PM
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    Great article as always! For some reason, I can’t click or enlarge the thumbnail images, so it’s difficult to see. However the video was a great touch. In the future I would like to see the date it was published at the top with the author!

    Reply
    • October 5, 2016 at 7:13 PM
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      Thank you for the head’s up regarding the Gallery… I will take a look at it right now and see what’s going on.
      Also, I am going to go back and add the month and year directly below the byline in each article and will be adding the month and year going forward. What a fantastic suggestion… Thank You!

      Reply
  • October 31, 2016 at 11:55 PM
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    I really enjoyed this- especially the video! I am getting so lazy with my reading lately! You Tube Brain! 😉 I just came across a fiction piece I have and would love to work on it for NaNoWriMo but…this year has demolished me…maybe next year!

    Reply
  • June 26, 2017 at 1:26 PM
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    A very good and interesting article.
    It seems wherever I go I find you, Burgess… 😉

    Reply

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