That was my entry in my commonplace book today. I heard the phrase in a song and liked the sound of it, so I wrote it down. Morbid, yes, but to quote Lydia in Beetlejuice, “My whole life is a dark room. One big dark room.”
My point here is that I think my commonplace book is going to be strange and unusual because, to quote Lydia again, I myself am strange and unusual. Some of my entries will be comprised of whole sentences, others just phrases. Sometimes they will be just words, as I have a strange (there’s that word again) fondness for keeping track of words I look up in the dictionary while I’m editing. Spoiler: I look up a lot, so my lists are long. I also have a lot of thoughts and opinions on the practice of looking up words in the dictionary–really, I do–but I’ll spare you.
I am struggling with–or at least pondering–two issues as I embark on this endeavor. First, organization. Something is telling me not to worry about it at this stage, to just start writing things in the book, and maybe an organizational system will become clear over time. I’m going with this, but part of my brain is stuck on thinking there has to be some sort of organization, and index or something. But I also think if I wait until I figure that out to start, I will never start. So I’m starting and hoping this issue will work itself out at some point.
Second is what to actually write in my commonplace book. I looked back over my Kindle highlights from pretty much every Kindle book I’ve read, and I copied a few into my book, but I also found myself reading all of the quotes very critically: Is this worthy of the book? Will I want to remember this, really? If it doesn’t particularly speak to me right now, should I included it anyway, as it might at some other time (as it obviously did while I was reading the book)? This is one I have to decide fairly soon, as it will affect how I approach this project: Should I be highly selective of what I write in my commonplace book, or should I just write down anything that sounds interesting or that I found interesting in the past, regardless of if I think it’s interesting now? I’m leaning toward that–just writing it all down. Quantity over quality to begin with. But I’m not 100 percent decided on that yet. Any thoughts on the subject?