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Breathing In, Breathing Out

Breathing In, Breathing Out

Keeping a Writer's Notebook

Ralph takes a probing look into the nature of a writer's notebook, examining what it is, how writers use it, and what makes it tick. You’ll enjoy snippets from his own notebook, where he reveals how he uses it.

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Full Description
    Writers both new and experienced will appreciate [Fletcher's] clear and straightforward advice on how a writer's notebook can be used to find one's own voice and inner truth.
Keeping a notebook may be the single best way to survive as a writer. It encourages a greater sensitivity to your world, inside and out. It serves as a haven for new ideas until they are strong and mature enough to face the harsh light of rational judgment. It gives you a quiet place to catch your breath and begin writing.

Breathing In, Breathing Out is a book for the writer in each one of us, however lost, however buried. Ralph Fletcher takes a probing look into the nature of a writer's notebook, examining what it is, how writers use it, and what makes it tick. You will discover why writers like Naomi Shihab Nye and Dorothy Allison consider their notebooks so important to the work they create. You will also read snippets from Fletcher's notebook, where he reveals the "displayed self" of a writer whose innermost workings he knows best.

To Fletcher, keeping a writer's notebook is as natural an activity as breathing so he has organized his book in a way that illuminates two basic aspects of the process. Breathing In refers to the way the notebook can serve as a receptacle for selected insights, lines, images, dreams, and fragments of conversations. In this way it helps you pay closer attention to your world. Breathing Out is intended to suggest the notebook as an ideal place to use what you have collected and spark your own original writing.

This book is for new writers as well as those who may have once loved to write but have lost the spark along the way. It will help you find a natural rhythm for using a notebook and in the process start living the life of a writer.

Additional Resource Information

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1. A Place to Write
2. What Moves You? What Matters?
3. The Language Angels
4. Thirteen Drops of Wine
5. Triggers: Bits, Lists, Lines, Questions
6. Breathing in the Physical World
7. Talk
8. The Echo of the Past
9. Necessary Words
10. A Place to Write Badly
11. Compost and Transformation
12. Divining Rod: Summoning the Deep Water
13. Escaping the Monkey Trap
14. The Set Piece: Something Small and Beautiful
15. Writing About Writing
16. Writing at the Border: Dangerous Words

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Email if you would like to contact Ralph Fletcher directly about professional development support.