But I can’t find my lucky pencil

The next time you are making excuses about not being able to work because the internet connection is down, or you can’t find your Moleskine, remember this about Thomas Hardy’s writing habits when out of doors:

…when he would occasionally find himself without a scrap of paper at the very moment that he felt volumes. In such circumstances he would use large dead leaves, white chips left by the woodcutters, or pieces of stone or slate that came to hand.

(This quote appears in the Introduction to the Everyman edition of Far From the Madding Crowd, and is attributed to “his Life” – a book published under his second wife’s name that, according to the Bibliography in the same Everyman volume, was mostly written by Hardy himself.)

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