A Peek Inside My Writer’s Notebook
During the first few weeks of school, many teachers graciously invite me into their classrooms to launch writer’s notebooks. I love talking to kids about the purpose of a writer’s notebook. We discuss what a writer’s notebook is (a place to collect ideas, to remember words, to take risks) and what a writer’s notebook isn’t (a journal, a sketchbook.) Then, I usually give the kids a peek inside my own writer’s notebook. Wanna see?
Sometimes, I make lists in my notebook:
Sometimes, I draw a quick sketch in my notebook:
I made that sketch when I was beginning a memoir about my childhood doll. I was trying to bring back as many memories of her as I could, so I sketched out my childhood home and thought about all the different things I did with my doll when I was younger.
Sometimes, I just want to get my thoughts out, unsure of what will become of them:
I wrote those thoughts as my daughter’s second birthday approached. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write. You can see in the upper right hand corner I was questioning, “Do I write her a letter? Write an essay? Maybe a poem?” I never did write anything, but I am so glad I saved those thoughts on paper. I know I will need them someday.
Sometimes, I make a timeline of events if I am writing a story…
…and then I zoom-in on each event from the timeline:
Sometimes, I see a text that inspires me. If I can, I copy it into my notebook:
Then, I will try it out myself:
Sometimes, I develop a character in my notebook:
Thinking through characters before I write always adds depth to my writing.
Sometimes, I collect words:
This is only a small peek into my writer’s notebook. There are loads of other entries (writing long, webs, favorite lines, visual note-taking, etc). Giving the kids a peek inside my own writer’s notebook shows them there is no “right” way to keep a notebook. There are endless possibilities.
It works every time. The kids are always eager to leave the carpet area and start writing in their very own writer’s notebooks.