Online College Courses for Credit

The Writer's Notebook

The Writer's Notebook

Author: Karen Hamilton

Students will learn the importance of keeping a journal and/or notebook to record their thoughts, ideas, observations, etc. to use in their creative writing.

Students will learn the importance of keeping a journal and/or notebook to record their thoughts, ideas, observations, etc. to use in their creative writing.

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What is creative writing?

Creative writing is the art of crafting a piece for pleasure and for publication. Notebook generating is just one of the steps in the creative process. Creative Writing involves more than just creating a work; it involves reading published work, reading works of your peers, experimenting and revising, and seeking publication. Our goal is to become a community of writers who experiment, craft, revise and play with our writing.  

Creative Inspiration

Throughout this workshop, you will create and maintain three separate key elements of the writer’s life.

You are a writer!

Keep a journal - At the beginning and end of each tutorial journal about your experience with the day’s lesson. Consider (before lesson) what you hope to learn from this lesson, what you already know about the subject, what you are feeling before beginning the lesson, (after lesson) what you learned, what you liked and/or didn’t like about that particular lesson, questions that you may have, and thoughts and feelings you have after doing the lesson.

Keep a writer’s idea notebook – this is the place where you can write down observations and anything else that could be used for inspiration. You can use a small writer’s notebook so you can always have it with you or you can use any composition notebook or notepad. You CANNOT keep your idea notebook on the computer or other device! It is important to the creative process to handwrite in your notebook and add pictures and other inspirational elements that you find.

Keep a Showcase Portfolio – this is where you will put your best work. Create a bound writing portfolio using original work from each tutorial, which demonstrates your growth as creative writers, analyzes yourself as a writer, and evaluates the Creative Writing course. It can be a scrapbook, photo album, 3-ring binder, or made by hand.

Allow yourself to be messy!

What do you put in your Writer's Notebook?


Source: Karen Silvestri

Writer's Notebook and Journal

Be sure to keep your ideas in your writer's notebook.

Don't forget to write in your journal about today's tutorial!


Introduce yourself to others in the workshop by commenting below. Tell us about your hopes for this workshop. What genre (type) of writing do you like the best? Do you write science fiction or plays? What do you hope to learn more about during this workshop?