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WRITERS AND THEIR NOTEBOOKS – “Something to Really Think about.”

June 13, 2010

Writers and their Notebooks, edited by Diana M. Raab

The University of South Carolina Press, 210 pages, 2010

I wouldn’t pick up this title if I saw it on a bookstore shelf or even a table at the library. Big mistake! You might think there is little more to say about journaling, but you’d be wrong… These 25 essays by various writers consider everything from using a journal as a tool for experiencing life to its being a means for creating  short stories, poems, novels and autobiographies.  But it’s what some include and others exclude that’s thought provoking.

I loved Sue Grafton: “This notebook (usually four times longer than the novel) is like a letter to myself, detailing every idea that occurs to me as I proceed.” and “The journal is the writer’s invitation to the Shadow, a means of beckoning to the Unconscious, enticing it to yield its potent magic to the creative process.” She sees the journal as an “experimental” playground for the imagination.

Most writers have a special, close friendship with pen and paper that somehow computers have not dislodged. And it’s an emphasis on cheap notepads, where we can rip out pages or cross out paragraphs, that I like. Ultimately, as Tin House’s Michelle Wildgen notes, we put the inner editor and critic aside, write openly and are journaling even without the journal.

Buy this directly from amazon for  $16.47.

Click: Writers and Their Notebooks

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