My notebooks are my special safe-keepers of my thinking and writing life. Keeping a notebook has made my life so much more fruitful. It brings a fullness to my world each day. The notebook helps me pay attention to life by allowing me the freedom to live and write wide-awake.
For this reason, my notebooks are brimming with many types of entries. There are so many ways that I capture and collect my thoughts of this world in my notebooks.
I organize my collections by rereading entries and flagging them with sticky notes. Each sticky note has a label which identifies that entry by subject, topic, or theme. This is a really handy way for me to refer back to previous entries in order to layer more meaning on whatever topic or piece of writing I’m working with.
I also use notebooks to spark ideas for poems, books, and essays. I am always collecting my observations and snippets of thinking in my notebook. Each entry is so important to me, so I return to the notebook often to reread. So many of my ideas for poems and stories that I want to write start bubbling up in my notebook this way. I am always surprised at how my drafts emerge and blossom from the work in my notebook. For me, notebooks are certainly keepsakes forever!
Invitation to Write: You can use your notebook for life, too! Try starting with the little things around you. Write whatever you see right now around you. It could be living or nonliving. Then, narrow your focus to one of those things and write. Allow yourself the freedom to write whatever comes. You might be surprised at where this writing leads you! Often our best writing comes from something quite simple and concrete in our lives. Our notebooks can capture and hold safely all that writing for us. In this way, the notebook is truly a friend for life!
Kiesha Shepard is a Literacy Specialist at Spring Creek Elementary School in College Station, Texas. She has a giant love for writing and the teaching of writing. You can find invitations to write, teaching resources, and some of her poems on her website Whispers From the Ridge. You can connect with Kiesha on Twitter @kshepard_write or by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she also welcomes you to follow the amazing K-4 writers at her school’s writing blog HERE.
Kiesha has generously offered a giveaway of one of her favorite poem books - EVIDENCE by Mary Oliver - for a reader of this post. Please leave a comment by Saturday, October 1 to be entered into this random drawing. Please be sure to leave a way to contact you in your comment as well.
Please know that Sharing Our Notebooks welcomes all kinds of notebook keepers - of any age and interest - to open up their pages and share their process. At the present time, I am accepting all notebook entries and am especially hoping to receive some entries from boys and men who keep any kind of notebooks. If you are interested in writing in this space, please contact me, Amy, directly.
Please share a comment below if you wish.