The Writer's Notebook
All About Writing: from the basics to motivation to creativity and beyond
If you are a writer, you probably keep a writer’s notebook. Right? If you don’t, you should. (We’ll talk about that later.) A writer’s notebook is a space to collect anything and everything you might eventually need: observations, quotes, snippets of dialogue you hear while sitting at the local coffee shop, cool words and phrases, questions, ideas in general, character sketches, informal outlines of projects. You get the picture.
Where did my idea of The Writer’s Notebook come from?
Although I had been recording ideas and writerly snippets for decades, I didn’t run across the term “writer’s notebook” until I was assigned to teach the creative writing elective in the early 2000s. The school district where I worked decided to bring back English department electives for juniors and seniors. I asked to be assigned the Creative Writing course. It seemed a perfect fit for someone who also taught theater courses and the public speaking course.
When I was handed my tentative schedule, I found not one but two sections of Creative Writing each semester. I now had my summer work cut out for me. Although the course had been brought back to life, the syllabus and books had disappeared long ago.
I searched my own journals and files for ideas. I researched curricula on the internet. I read books to rediscover what I had learned about creative writing in my own high school course, in college, and in writing short stories and poems for contests and publications.
For far too many years, the only two writing genres required of the students by the district were the essay (Yes, all types) and the research paper (detested by most). I had writing barriers to break.
We began with a unit I called “Getting Started.” We talked about the necessity of a writer’s notebook to capture any and all ideas for stories and poems. We talked about necessities and resources for writers, and we wrote to a prompt for the first ten minutes of each day.
I taught with the philosophy that I would not expect my students to write anything I wouldn’t or couldn’t or hadn’t tried to write. I even wrote to the daily prompts with them.
In the meantime, tell your friends & share it with your writers’ group!