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Writers and Their Notebooks

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  61 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
This collection of essays by well-established professional writers explores how their notebooks serve as their studios and workshops' places to collect, to play, and to make new discoveries with language, passions, and curiosities. For these diverse writers, the journal also serves as an ideal forum to develop their writing voice, whether crafting fiction, nonfiction, or p ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 22nd 2010 by University of South Carolina Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Robin Ripley
Feb 28, 2016 Robin Ripley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
I found wonderful company in this collection of essays about my fellow journalers. The variety of attitudes and approaches to the keeping of a journal was fascinating. Here are some:

- Diary/journal - A diary is a bit different than a journal, as it specifically provides an accounting of a person's daily activities, emotions and thoughts. It is more self-focused and time-bound than some other uses of a journal. Some of the essayists were very anti-diary, although their reasons didn't mean enough
Jovan Trujillo
Apr 02, 2016 Jovan Trujillo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished this book! Woo! I liked it a lot. Very inspiring set of essays for the chronic journal keeper like myself. Time to apply all I've learned.
penny shima glanz
Jan 24, 2013 penny shima glanz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
No matter what you choose to call it — journal, notebook, holdall, shoebox, commonplace book — there is no one true way, no formula for filling the writer’s sketchbook. In this age of published journals and blogs it is sometimes easy to loose sight of the free-form and become concerned about adhering to a proper format. Raab’s collected essays reassured me and reconnected me to the page and its potential. I hope I have rediscovered the carefree journal writing I once possessed.

In Raab’s collecti
Lee Kofman
Dec 28, 2015 Lee Kofman rated it it was ok
This anthology was unnecessarily long. It contains almost 30 essays, most repetitive and/or self-indulgent. I only liked six of them and wonder why didn’t the editor aim for more variety and less contributors. After all, this is relatively a limited theme.
Sep 04, 2011 Marija rated it it was amazing
I loved how some contributors to this book kept notebooks with ideas for future projects; others kept them as diaries of their daily lives; and still others didn't keep them at all and explained why. I've always been attracted to the idea of keeping a journal but could never quite stick to the regularity of it. One of the last essays talked about how the author didn't keep a journal because putting too much on paper too soon flattened the spark of her ideas and causing her to lose interest in th ...more
Apr 18, 2014 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: writing
Some good ideas, though not all entries were equally useful.
Jun 10, 2012 Margaret rated it really liked it
As an intermittent keeper of a journal, I was intrigued to read this collection of essays by writers who share the ways they use journaling to confer with their deepest selves, grow awareness, seed their creativity, experiment, mess up, and serve as a "hold-all" (Virginia Woolf's term) for everything under the sun (quotes, photos, theatre tickets, scribbled notes on a paper napkin, and so on). One or two curmudgeonly articles lent variety to an otherwise sanguine set of reports on journaling and ...more
Jun 12, 2013 Jessi rated it liked it
It took me awhile to read this one. I purchased it last year and started in, only getting through the first section. This book is a great addition to reading fiction because it's best read in small doses. I would read an essay or two, about 20 pages, and move onto something else. I really like the insights and the stories that go along with it, but only wish it were more about the journals and the journaling process.

Great for any writer or journaler.
Jan 25, 2015 Tina rated it liked it
A collection of essays on how writers use notebooks/journals/diaries in their personal and professional lives.Interesting kernels. Some essays were better than others. I'm glad I read it, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it.
Apr 24, 2013 Tim rated it liked it
A mixed bag of essay and wandering commentary and journal bricolage. Some of this was interesting, some tedious, some self-indulgent. It is a good idea and I like some chapters immensely and the charge they gave to writing things down as you go, but this could have used a stronger editorial hand.
I'll read just about anything with the word "notebook" in the title.

Very enjoyable! Some of the essays didn't really grab me, so I skimmed over them, but most of them were great. I love reading about how other people use their notebooks, and I got some interesting ideas.
Nov 24, 2010 Patty rated it liked it
Shelves: read-for-class
A few of the essays were remarkably good; a few others were tedious. Overall, I enjoyed the opportunity to see how this handful of writers use writers' notebooks/journals to rehearse their writing.
Mar 13, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
Great essays on how some of the greatest utilize journals. I wish it had scanned copies from their real journals. That would've been like having and eating that writing cake :)
Dec 29, 2011 Valerie rated it really liked it
Essays on the value--therapeutic, artistic, aid to memory--of writing in a journal (along with a couple dissenting views).
Sep 25, 2012 Rachael marked it as abandoned
Don't want to read it all at once, but good for dipping into for inspiration!
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Diana Raab, Ph.D. is an award-winning memoirist, poet, essayist, speaker and workshop facilitator focusing on the transformative and healing aspects of personal writing. She teaches workshops nationwide and frequently writes on the transformative powers of writing.

She is the author of 8 books and over 500 articles.

She's a blogger for Psychology Today, PsychAlive, BrainSpeak and The Huffington Pos
More about Diana Raab, Ph.D....

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