There is one thing I recommend to everyone learning to write.
Create a writer’s notebook. Why? It’s crucial for writers to be consistent in their writing. A writer’s notebook is a fun way to get started and keep writing. All you need is a pen, notebook and some writer’s notebook ideas.
Oh, and a willingness to write at least 3 times per week. But what if you aren’t inspired? Isn’t it hard to write that often? It doesn’t have to be.
Once you understand what a writer’s notebook is and learn some writing activities, it’s easy to write 3 times per week.
The Writer’s Notebook
A writer’s notebook is a journal of some kind where you freewrite, brainstorm or do anything else related to writing. It is informal and no one else has to read it. You don’t focus on correct grammar and spelling. The emphasis is on writing for yourself.
The easiest way to create a writer’s notebook is to buy a notebook, or binder and paper. Also, you could create a folder on your computer. I prefer using a physical notebook because I am not tempted to stop writing and edit my work. I also use a pen over a pencil because I don’t want to go back and erase words.
Once you have a notebook or folder you write in it regularly. You want your ideas to get out there. I have a list of writer’s notebook ideas to help me write every day.
Writer’s Notebook Ideas
Each writing activity listed here is a freewrite. A freewrite is where you write without stopping for a fixed length of time or a specific number of pages. When you freewrite, don’t correct your grammar or spelling, change words or make any other kinds of edits.
Here are 10 creative writing topics you can use in your writer’s notebook.
#1 Write about an object
Put an object in front of you. Look at it, touch it, listen to it, smell it and if it’s a food or beverage, taste it. Examine the object for 5 minutes. Then write about it for at least 10 minutes. If you can’t write any more about the object, look around you and describe something else.
#2 Ask and answer an intriguing question
If you want to dive deep into a subject, ask a specific question, such as, “What is your favorite poem about love and why?” If you want to explore something more broadly ask a question, such as, “What do you think about love?”
#3 Freewrite about whatever is on your mind
The simplest writing activity is to freewrite without any topic. Write whatever comes to your mind for 10 minutes or more. Write about what you’re thinking at that moment. If you get stuck write the words, “I don’t know what to write” until something else comes to your mind.
#4 Freewrite with a writing prompt
Select a writing topic from prompts. If you search online, you’ll find many writing prompts you can choose. I love to use the writing topics in Natalie Goldberg’s book, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within.
I also share writing prompts every week in my FB Live show, 10-Minute Writing Tuesday in the Ultimate Online Writing Community for Busy People.
# 5 Writing off the page
This freewrite comes from Natalie Goldberg. For this activity, you first need to find a poem that interests you. Then write down the first line in your notebook and use that to guide your freewrite. If you can’t think of anything else to say, write the line again and continue writing. Do this for at least 10 minutes.
#6 Describe what you see
Look at your surroundings, and describe whatever you see, hear, feel, etc. Write for 10 minutes.
#7 Write about something you’ve read
Freewrite on something you have read recently and what you think about the article, blog post, book, essay, etc. Another way to approach this is to write about your favorite book.
#8 Write from another person’s point of view
For this freewrite, imagine you’re someone else and then write about a topic. Some ideas for you to try this is to imagine you’re a character from a book or movie, a famous person, someone you know, someone you admire or even someone you dislike. Try to see something through another person’s eyes.
#9 Write about a project or something you want to do
If there is something you want to do or something you want to create, write your thoughts about it. You could write about why you want to do it, why you haven’t done yet, or how you will do it. Freewrite on this topic until you can’t think of anything else to add.
#10 Go to a different location and write
Write somewhere other than where you live. Get outside of your home and write at a café, outdoors or anywhere else that inspires you. Freewrite on whatever comes to your mind for at least 10 minutes.
Create Your Own Writer’s Notebook
Freewriting in a writer’s notebook helps you develop your style and writing voice. Writing style refers to how a person expresses oneself in words. A writer’s voice is the personality of the author coming through his/her words.
These are 2 things that are unique to you. If you write more often, you’ll find your writing style and voice. You’ll start to think like a writer and find more ideas for your writing.
I suggest students keep writers’ notebooks because no matter where they are as writers, they can go further. I know. Twenty years ago, I started my first writer’s notebook. It’s the greatest writing habit I have.
So, get a pen and journal and try these writer’s notebook ideas. It might be the best thing you ever do for your writing.
Want to learn writing activities, get helpful tips and receive encouragement? Join my Facebook group, The Ultimate Online Writing Community for Busy People at https://www.facebook.com/groups/UltimateOnlineWritingCommunity/