Thursday, March 24, 2011

SOLSC: Writer's Notebook Challenge - 24/31

The Slice of Life Story Challenge 
is hosted by the Two Writing Teachers.

Writer's Notebook Challenge

I do love writing.  I had forgotten how good it feels to put words on paper (or type on a screen these days).  Releasing the emotions, gaining the clarity, and allowing others to read and share and learn.  What an awesome feeling it is!

I have had Ralph Fletcher's book, A Writer's Notebook, waiting patiently on my professional bookshelf at school for, um, well, a couple of years now.  I finally cracked it open this week with all this excitement about writing. 

I occasionally use my writer's notebook.  It's an easy place to jot down a quick thought, idea, or phrase someone said that may lead to a future slice.  I bought two fun notebooks (again, years ago. . .) to create a reading journal for home and a reading journal for school.  I was determined to keep a record of my reading and thoughts so that I could share and teach students to do the same.  Years later, I had two empty, thought-less journals.  

Now the beautiful purple notebook has become the collector of my notes, thoughts, questions, and everything else for my girls.  

The fun black-n-white flower covered journal has been readopted this month as my writing notebook.  I notice myself listening more . . . not only with my ears, but with my eyes.  There are stories to be told all around us - a sliver of a slice is more than plenty to keep us content and full.

After reading Fletcher's book, I fully understand the importance of keeping and storing ideas that I don't want to forget - I just never know when one idea will spark and a fire of words and stories will illuminate and warm my heart.  

I will be using my notebook more and more in the coming weeks as the challenge will be ending.  I am committed to writing - so let the stories be told and shared.  I have also decided that this journal can be both my reading and writing notebook.  It will safely hold all of my valuable ideas and slices of life, and it will be a record of the books that I read, quotes that touch my heart, and so on.  Reading and writing are reciprocal friends, so why can't they share a home in my notebook?

By the way, Fletcher's book is great!  I look forward to sharing it with students to open their eyes, ears and hearts to the stories all around them.  Let the writer's notebook challenge begin!


  1. It sounds like you are ready for an amazing journey. I too am not much of a notebook writer but slicing has inspired me to start. As for Fletcher's book, it's one that I read to my students the first couple months of school. It inspires them and gets the ball rolling. Good luck!

  2. I love the Fletcher book too, use it along with others to jumpstart my own motivation as well as that of my students. It's a great slice that you should share with your students. I love taking ideas that were lying there in my notebook & developing them. Good luck to you!

  3. Ralph Fletcher is such an inspiration. Glad you are looking for slices and other possible stories around you. I have been using my notebook a lot during this SOL challenge. I make a note of which post used what idea and then I plan to try it or did in a post. Enjoy writing. MaryHelen

  4. I read the first chapter of that book to my students each year when I introduce writer's notebooks. I love his books. I also love this line that you wrote: There are stories to be told all around us - a sliver of a slice is more than plenty to keep us content and full.

    That is what I have learned from this challenge this year. I too have several notebooks empty. I write in my notebook at school but not at home. I have mainly been using my blog as my writer's notebook lately. My plan is to continue!

  5. I also used Fletcher's book at the beginning of the year to help students to get started with their notebooks. I have to admit that several of my students are better at keeping their notebooks than I am. Part of the reason I joined SOLSC was to practice what I teach - write daily. Ralph Fletcher has another book about keeping a writer's notebook, titled "Breathing in, Breathing out".
    I can feel the determination in your writing and I believe that you will succeed in your writer's notebook challenge.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts.