Writers are like other people, except for at least one important difference. Other people have daily thoughts and feelings, notice this sky or that smell, but they don't do much about it.
Not writers. Writers react. And writers need a place to record those reactions. That's what a writer's notebook is for. It gives you a place to write down what makes you angry or sad or amazed, to write down what you noticed and don't want to forget . . . .
As Ralph Fletcher states, "Many people drift through life. Your writer's notebook can work as alarm clock to remind you to wake up and pay attention to what's happening in your world, both inside and out." Fletcher's writing teaches one to wake up and pay attention to the world. He offers wonderful advise on observing the world and capturing those precious moments in a notebook, so one can use the material for splendid works of writing. Each chapter opens with a personal narrative to enrich the concepts. Chapters include "Fierce Wonderings," "Seed Ideas," and "Snatches of Talk." The author includes examples from his own notebooks, young writers of elementary school age and famous children's book authors. A Writer's Notebook offers many fantastic ideas on how to start stories and even how to organize one's thoughts and writing plans. It is a valuable tool for writers of any age not just its intended audience of middle readers. I found myself reflecting on the exercises and pondering quotes for my next writing adventures. 2003, HarperTrophy, Ages 8 to 12.