My Writer’s Notebook is none of those things — except important — and even that adjective is shaky because it’s only important to me. Anyone else who opened it up would probably think, “What is this woman trying to say? These thoughts are all jumbled and disjointed. And she’s an ENGLISH teacher??”
That’s the beauty of a Writer’s Notebook. It’s your private territory, like those corners of your brain where you think all the thoughts you never say out loud.
Anyway, my Notebook measures about six and a half by nine and a half inches. It has a sturdy plastic cover, big rings, and college-ruled pages. I say Notebook, but really I should say Notebooks because I have a whole shelf of them. Color doesn’t matter, but they do have to be this same design and feel the same in my hand. And they have to have pockets in the dividers inside (not pictured – sorry). That’s because sometimes I go places without my Notebook, and inevitably, something happens or I see something or think of something that wants to be written down and used some day. When that happens, I use Post-It Notes, hall passes, index cards, napkins, my hand, or corners that I rip off of other papers when I think no one will notice. Then I tuck those things with the notes into the pockets in my Writer’s Notebook (except my hand, which doesn’t fit in there and is attached to me). I stick other things in there, too — pictures that I want to write about, little notes and funny things that I find.
The other day, I sat down at my computer at school and found a Post-It stuck to my computer that said 5 50 on it. 5 50??? What’s that supposed to mean. It was in my handwriting, too. I put that note there because darn it, it was important. 5 50. Don’t forget. I have no idea what it means. Was I supposed to have been someplace at 5:50? A 5:50 train or bus? (If so, I didn’t make it. Sorry.) Do I owe someone $5.50? (If it’s you, please let me know.) If nothing else, there’s a story in that little pink Post-It Note someplace, so I tucked that in my Notebook, too. At least I can write about it, even if I never remember what it meant.