Writers and Their Notebooks
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Writers and Their Notebooks

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  11 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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penny
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...more
Marija
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
Josh
Some good ideas, though not all entries were equally useful.
Margaret
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
Jessi
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.
Tim
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.
Lindsaygail
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.
Patty
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.
Julie
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 :)
Valerie
Essays on the value--therapeutic, artistic, aid to memory--of writing in a journal (along with a couple dissenting views).
Rachael
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 M. Raab, M.F.A., essayist, memoirist and poet who teaches at UCLA Writers' Program and frequently lectures on journaling and memoir around the country.

Her memoir, REGINA'S CLOSET: FINDING MY GRANDMOTHER'S SECRET JOURNAL won the 2008 National Indie Excellence Award for Memoir and the 2009 Mom's Choice Award for Adult Nonfiction, as well as other high honors.

She has two poetry collections, MY

...more
More about Diana M. Raab...
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