"Right here, let me say that a writer of books must cultivate the ‘notebook habit’. Keep a blank book; jot down in it every helpful idea that comes your way, every amusing or dramatic incident or expression you hear, every bit of apt description that occurs to you. Be all eye and ear in your daily walks and social intercourse. If you meet a quaint personality write down its salient characteristic. If you see a striking face or feature describe it for future use; if you hear a scrap of native wit or unconscious humor or pathos, preserve it; if you see some exquisite, fleeting effect in sky or sea or field imprison it in words before it can escape you."
Originally published in 1915, “The Way to Make a Book” in Everywoman’s World, included in the first volume of Benjamin Fefebvre’s excellent L.M. Montgomery readers