June 21, 2012

Keep a Notebook to Capture Your Ideas

I'm currently sharing the key learning points discussed in my young writers' workshop entitled, "Gotcha! How to Find and Capture Great Writing Ideas."

This week's post is about Big Idea #3: Use a Notebook to Capture Your Ideas. Add SOMETHING to Your Notebook at Least Once Each Day.

By now the students are usually bursting with great story ideas and they are dying to share them with somebody.  Instead of allowing them to share these ideas verbally, I provide some time for students to write down their ideas in their own notebooks and journals. (Depending on the timing or the format of the class, sometimes I keep them wiggling with excitement and tell them that they'll get a chance to write down their ideas a bit later).  For students who don't have a notebook yet, I suggest loose paper.

I also like to share samples of some of my own writing notebooks, including ideas that were scribbled hurriedly on old receipts, grocery lists and other scraps of paper and then taped into my notebook.  I emphasize that this type of writing does not have to be pretty, or perfect, or complete.  They are simply ideas to be captured that can be explored and expanded upon later.  The only hitch is that the writing notebook should have something written (or drawn) in it at least once each day.

I also like to share some of the notebooks I kept when I was a child:

This was one of my diaries.
If you're interested in reading about the notebooks other authors keep, here is a great blog to visit:

This was the notebook I kept the summer I was Harriet the Spy

This brings us to learning point #4, READ, and READ, and READ Some More (and my famed Pleasure Reading Award, which I'll share a picture of in my next post).

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