Book Notes: Writers and their Notebooks edited by Diana M. Raab

[AN: All notes are taken verbatim from the book. I claim no rights to them.]


Writers and their Notebooks edited by Diana M. Raab


Pg. 189-190: Different types of journals and their descriptions:

  1. Personal-growth journal: where the writer works out difficult situations
  2. Crisis journal: in which a crisis is used as a catalyst for writing. Use it during tumultuous times, or when life takes an unexpected turn or in flux, and it can help anchor you
  3. Therapeutic journal: which is similar to Crisis Journal except that it tends to be in diary format, chronicling day-to-day events
  4. Gratitude journal: a place to record what you are thankful for in life. This type of journal nurtures a positive outlook and is a good thing to have when you’re feeling down
  5. Smile journal: consists of things and events that make you smile and laugh. (Keep in mind that humor heals)
  6. Travel journal: a place to chronicle journeys and trips, and include impressions and reflections
  7. Dream journal: typically kept at the bedside and written in first thing in the morning, even before a writer goes to bed, as a way to tap into the subconscious mind
  8. Transition/Transformation journal: used during transitional periods such as divorce or relocation


Pg. 193-194: Writing prompts:

  1. Write a letter to someone, dead or alive
  2. Write about a transforming moment in your life
  3. Write about a trip you took that left a huge impact on you
  4. Write about a loved one, colleague, or mentor who has been influential on your writing life
  5. Write about what worries you
  6. Write about an accomplishment
  7. List memorable moments in your life. Choose one to write about.
  8. Write about a special occasion where everything didn’t go as planned
  9. Write about your happiest and saddest moments
  10. Recount a personal experience that lead to personal growth
  11. Write about something you collected
  12. Write a sentence beginning with “I remember…”
  13. Describe a smell that brings back fond or unpleasant memories
  14. Describe a moment of utter desperation where you felt so low you didn’t know what to do
  15. Describe a significant quarrel between you and a family member
  16. Describe losing someone you really loved
  17. Write about a strange family member
  18. Write about what you remember about the sixth grade
  19. Write about a memory with a bicycle
  20. Write ten ways you felt different as a child
  21. Write about what you are grateful for
  22. Write about a song that has had a great impact on you
  23. Write about your favorite book
  24. Write about one of your grandparents
  25. Write about something you want but cannot have
  26. Freewrite or write for at least fifteen minutes, never lifting your pen; ignoring your inner critic; write about anything that pops into your head

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