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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.
A Place to Write
What Moves You? What Matters?
The Language Angels
Thirteen Drops of Wine
Triggers: Bits, Lists, Lines, Questions
Breathing in the Physical World
The Echo of the Past
A Place to Write Badly
Compost and Transformation
Divining Rod: Summoning the Deep Water
Escaping the Monkey Trap
The Set Piece: Something Small and Beautiful
Writing About Writing
Writing at the Border: Dangerous Words
Posted February 5, 2002
I really thought that this book was helpful for everyday use. It helped me think of ways to expand my personal journal writing. It helped me structure my journal better. HOwever, I don't really think it did much for the creative writing class I took that required it, but I guess it all depends on how the instructor chooses to use the text.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.