Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Notebook Junky

I live near a library--mwa-ha-ha-ha!! Yes, I'm a little excited to have so many books so nearby. I especially appreciate the fabulous cooperative system; I can borrow books from 14 libraries! Recently, I requested a couple books on writing: A Writer's Notebook and Characters and Viewpoint. Too often I am disappointed by books on this topic, but these are a different story. Today and tomorrow, I'll tell you what I like about these two books...

A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher
Writers are like other people, except for at least one important difference. Other people have daily thoughts and feelings, notice this sky or that smell, but they don't do much about it.
Not writers. Writers react. And writers need a place to record those reactions. That's what a writer's notebook is for. It gives you a place to write down what makes you angry or sad or amazed, to write down what you noticed and don't want to forget...

Although written for elementary school children, this book is very inspiring to me. Part of the appeal is the very simplicity with which the writer's notebook is described. Simply put, keeping a notebook is not difficult, and it's very beneficial. 

Mr. Fletcher demonstrates, with many real-life examples from his own notebooks and those of students, how everyday thoughts and events can be painlessly recorded for future writing reference. According to him, there are no hard-and-fast rules for one's notebook.

If you know me well enough, you know I am a horrible notebook junky. So, yes, I now keep a Fletcher-ite writer's notebook. Mine is a brown Moleskine, thread bound and lined. Entries range from "Lean back and look at the sky," to musings on a recent tragedy. I just wrote, "I love Moleskine." Ahh... the creative freedom and the fun! And, according to Mr. Fletcher's experience, the random things jotted down in a writer's notebook can become very useful when referenced later.

Yep, I definitely recommend reading and applying this little book, A Writer's Notebook by Ralph Fletcher.*

*Notes on A Writer's Notebook:
I don't recall specifically, but there are a couple student examples that mention angst over things that some parents may not feel are suitable for their young writers. Like I said, I can't remember the exact topics, but it may be a good idea to have a peek through the book before letting your children at it since I can't possibly assess by everyone's standards. ;)

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