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Quick Jots

I’ve come to believe that real writers always need a place to physically write. However, real writers also live real lives. Sometimes it’s not always possible to fit an entire writer’s notebook (no matter how sleek it is) into a bag when you’re going out at night or into the back pocket. (For instance, the purse I’ve been using for the past couple of days does not accommodate my 5″ x 8″ Moleskine!) So what’s a real writer to do????

I’ve recently discovered, and have fallen in love with, the idea and concept of matchbook notebooks. I purchased a few from Piping Hot Papers on Etsy. I soon became addicted to their small size and low weight. Therefore, I purchased some additional ones from Dribs and Drabs and Oh Mandie for my students when they write (thoughtfully) in their Idea Notebook for an entire week. The reason I give these out as a “reward” to my students who score a 4 or a 4- on their notebook, is because I truly believe that real writers write everywhere they go.

Having a teeny-tiny notebook in one’s bag is just a start (N.B.: Writing implements for the jottings are not provided by me). If a child keeps writing daily, week-after-week, then s/he will keep earning these matchbook notebooks so that they can put them in other hot spots they might want to write in (e.g., on their nightstand, in their parent’s car, near their bath tub). This way, kids will have a place to jot something quickly, which they either want to remember or write more about in their notebook, when their notebook isn’t accessible. And if nothing else, the pages in their matchbook notebook eventually become ephemera, which they can put into their writer’s notebook!

So, here’s my bottom line. If you want to live like a writer, you need a lot of places to write. Traditional writer’s notebooks don’t always cut it. We need word processing programs, blogs, slips of paper, and sometimes even napkins if we are going to genuinely live as a writer.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

5 thoughts on “Quick Jots Leave a comment

  1. I know it’s great to keep the fiar exchange going— but litle notebooks are so easy to make with scraps of paper and especially the scrapboking papers. I have a clear container that I stash all the scaps in and I’ve shown kids how to sew a little notebook (hint- thread the needles first!) and how to tie one… head to — or Susan K. Gaylord’s site to see some more easy to make books.


  2. Don’t forget something good to write with. I always carry around a Fisher Bullet ( pen. It’s only 3 3/4″ long. In addition, they write upside down and even under water. Nifty stuff…:)



  3. For anyone who loves writing, and sharing their stories – you’ll love this Web site! You can start your own story and have your friends contribute to it, or you can contribute to other peoples stories. Either way, you will have fun in this story sharing experience. Go Share Today!


  4. This is exactly what Naomi Shihab Nye talked about at the recent library conference; carrying your little notebook, pad, something to jot ideas down. I try to practice it as well.


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