There's a lot that can be deduced from observing someone's desk, purse, or backpack. I believe the most telling object in a room is what is placed on a person's nightstand.
A nightstand is the table closest to you as soon as you wake up in the morning. Most people keep their phone by their bed (which is not a good habit, but it's convenient), a clock, glasses, maybe a book they are reading, or planning to read. Personally, I keep a pen/pencil and a notebook beside my bed.
As a writer, I never know when inspiration will strike me. More than once, I have found myself suddenly popping out of bed in the middle of the night scrambling for a pen and paper to save my ideas before they dissipate into the deep recesses of my mind. I have lost one too many poetic verses and plot ideas in this manner. Consequently, I have resolved to keep a notebook and pen ready for my mind's genius.
My favorite part about having my notebook nearby is not having to get out of bed if I can't sleep. I simply flick my lamp switch, grab my pencil, and begin to write. It's therapeutic to release my thoughts and ideas. If I feel anxious or worried, I know depending on the topic of my writing. Our emotions dictate our actions more than we know. Your bedside notebook is a confidant of all the emotions we let simmer inside all day. Afterwards, I can always fall asleep.
Even if you are not a writer, we all think up good ideas. In the era of rapid fire information and constant connection, it is easy to forget an interesting idea or a deep thought. Keeping a notebook by the bed is a reminder of how accessible it is to jot down a thought. It doesn't have to be a best-selling novel or a mind blowing idea.
A nearby notebook is also handy for when you remember you have to do something first thing in the morning. When you wake up, you'll see it right away.
Writing things down is helpful when you need to think something through. Quickly sketching a flow chart or map can put abstract ideas into perspective.
Your bedside best friend isn't restricted to only being a notebook. A sketchbook can replace a notebook for the aspiring artist. Inspiration has no circadian rhythm.
The best part of keeping a notebook beside you is reading what your sleepy self scribbled in the night. It may take some time to decipher, but it's entertaining to wonder what you were thinking at the time. Or it doesn't make any sense but it can be the inspiration of something new.
So, pick a nice, smooth pen and a notebook. Capture your creativity and transcribe your fleeting late night thoughts.