Su Blackwell, The Baron in the Trees

Keeping a Writer’s Notebook

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on the broken glass.”

-Anton Chekhov


A notebook is a lot like a journal but it’s not only a journal. It’s a space for all your dreaming, your ideas for stories and poems, and a place to record ideas you have read and thought about.

You can use a notebook any way you want to. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Choose one or choose a combination.  Hopefully this starter list of ideas can keep you going for a few months.  Then, come up with some other ways you think you could use a notebook, and let us know.


  • Write down your first  and last thought of the day.
  • Write about the colors in your day.
  • What would be your perfect outfit head to toe?
  • How does being a woman or identifying as a woman affect the way you see your day?
  • Make a list of:
    • things you hear during the day.
    • things that are shades of blue.
    • what makes you angry or happy or sad or scared.
  • Keep a list of five items per day a week: what big or small things were you grateful for?
  • Describe your favorite smell.
  • What is the most important thing to you?
  • What’s your strongest memory?
  • Write an encouraging note to your future self.
  • Write down a poem, a letter, a prayer and rip it out to leave it somewhere or give it to someone.
  • Write down everything you can remember, one memory at a time, one day at a time.
  • Keep track of great things you hear people say.
  • Keep a list of your favorite words.
  • Keep a list of your favorite poems and stories, if you have them—keep this list going as you listen to your fellow writers.
  • Write down your dreams in the morning. Doing this may help you remember your dreams even better.
  • Keep a list of “truths” about yourself and “truths” about the world—these are in quotes because your ideas about truth may change as you continue to write.