When home computers first arrived at our house (I know…in the dark ages), my husband cajoled and encouraged me to do the first drafts of any writing on the computer, rather than write by hand and then transcribe. It took a bit of convincing, but eventually I made the transition, composing everything from books to articles to Christmas letters on the computer.

But then, I regressed. While waiting for a train in Grand Central Station in New York, I went into a bookstore (I’m a writer… of course I passed time in a bookstore) and discovered Moleskine notebooks.

As a writer, there is a kinesthetic (I might even say, sensual) pleasure of finding a journal that feels good in the hand, that stays flat on lap or tabletop, and whose paper smoothly accepts whatever marks you wish to make it. Moleskine (you can check them out at www.moleskine.com) has a journal or notebook for almost every writing need and beyond, including reporting, planning, painting, and list-making. You can get them with lined pages, graphed pages, or plain pages. Their website even provides templates you can download, print off, and then paste in your notebook to customize it.

The Moleskine I bought that day at the train station is a black soft cover, about 8×10 inches in size with a pocket in the back cover, keeping safe all the small notes or pictures I may have stuffed inside, an attached book mark, and an elastic band that holds the notebook closed. I love this notebook because it goes almost anywhere I go, so I am always able to write the next paragraph, scene, or even chapter of the novel I am currently writing.

And unlike the computer with its scrolling screens, there is something so much more eminently satisfying about seeing actual pages fill up with my words, of knowing I am listening to my Muse, and getting ever closer to a finished manuscript.

I encourage you, for whatever reason, to treat yourself to one. Now excuse me, I have some transcribing to do.