The Writer's Notebook- 
the Untapped Resource
"Keeping a notebook is the single best way I know to survive as a writer.  It encourages you to pay attention to your world, inside and out.  It serves as a container to keep together all the seeds you gather until you’re ready to plant them.  It gives you a quiet place to catch your breath and begin to write.”            
 -Ralph Fletcher, Breathing In, Breathing Out
*Write about your name… 
How do you feel about it?  
Where did it come from?  
Who are you named for?
Just write.

*Big Emotion… 
List three or more strong emotions.
Choose one emotion and list three specific times you felt that way.
Choose one time to write about.
Just write.

*Important People
List three or more important people.
Choose one and write three specific memories you have with that person.
Choose one memory to write about.
Just write.

*Important Places
List three or more important places.
Choose one and write three specific times you were there.
Choose one to write about.
Just write

*First time…
Make a list of first times...
Choose one to write about.
Just write.

*Last time…
Make a list of last times...
Choose one to write about.
Just write.

*Use your body or surroundings…
What does it remind you of?
Write about the memory not the object.

*Map of my heart… (from Georgia Heard)
Draw  a large heart on your paper
Start in the center of your heart
What matters most to you?
Choose one part of your heart
List ‘times’  that part reminds you of
Choose one to write about
Just write




*Neighborhood Map… (from Ralph Fletcher)
Draw a map of your house or neighborhood.
Label important parts of your map
Go back and attach a memory to different parts.
Choose one to write about.
Just write.
*Artifacts & Photographs…
Tape or glue in items or importance that will spark a memory.
Letters, notes, ticket stubs, souvenirs, invitations, newspaper clippings

*Prose to poetry…
Choose one of your entries & lift lines to create a poem.
Experiment with word choice, line breaks and repetition.
A Power Point on Using A Writer's Notebook

Get a Glimpse Inside Authors' Notebooks: This blog highlights pages from a variety of notebooks: paper, digital, napkin, any kind! Read here, and learn how students, authors, artists, teachers, and people of all types use notebooks to strengthen their thinking. After reading, you might wish to try something new in your own writing, drawing, thinking...

What Goes in the Writer's Notebook? by: Aimee Buckner

Teachers As Writers: Finding Time for Your Writing: A Podcast with Ruth Ayres

Aimee Buckner on Nonfiction in Student Notebooks (PODCAST)​

New Notebook Essentials by: Aimee Buckner​

Notebooks As a Place to Collect: "Reinventing Language Every Time You Write": A Podcast with Ralph Fletcher





Additional Resources for the Writer's Notebook