“Keep a notebook, darling, said Mae West, and one day he will keep you.” West could have said this in a material sense, but it is also true that he could say it in a spiritual sense. Writing is reborn, affirming the self, the soul and the creative spirit. “

Erica Jong, writer.

How would you describe the writer’s notebook? The ‘notebook’, as one called as a child the notebook he used to write all kinds of things and occurrences in school, fits a bit into the idea of ​​the writer’s notebook described by Ralph Fletcher.

Fletcher explains that, as a child, workers from the telephone company arrived at the patio of his house. They dug a ditch and left. The next morning, curious, he got up very early to go see the well before they covered it again. To his surprise, and because his house adjoined the forest, he found the hole occupied by different kinds of animals. Enchanted with the small zoo, he removed insects, frogs, a turtle and other bugs just in time, because after a few minutes the workers came, put the cables and sealed the hole.

Excited at the idea of ​​finding out what other kind of animals he could attract on his own, and before the eyes of his father’s few friends, he began to dig a new trench. Not as impressive as the professional peak and shovel, but two meters long by half wide and 10 cm deep. As soon as the sun came out the next day, he ran to examine his trap. To his surprise, the site was occupied by all kinds of visitors.

So, remember and compare Fletcher, it is the writer’s notebook, like a ditch in the backyard of the house that attracts and surprises the strangest animals that one can imagine. “And if you dig, they will come. You will be surprised by what you get there. “

He confesses that writing is his professional work, that he has written books for children and young people, and for adult readers. Nonfiction, poetry, novels, short stories, memoirs and writing books for writing teachers. His work includes more than 40 published books and countless collaborations in magazines.

Based on his experience, Fletcher considers that the notebook is the writer’s most important tool. In “The writer’s notebook: freeing the writer that is inside you” (A writer’s notebook: Unlocking the writer within you, Avon Books Inc., 1996), which is already a classic, comments that: “Keep a notebook of annotations It is one of the best ways I know to lead a kind of scriptural life. “

Precisely, on the subject of writing, Ralph Fletcher has approximately 20 published books. His work is very didactic and motivating, but, although in the United States he is a well-known author, it seems to me that in the Spanish-speaking countries very few know him and nobody has yet published it in our language.

“And, in essence, what is a writer’s notebook?” Ralph Fletcher asks, and answers: “It’s not a diary, it’s not a blog, it’s something else. The writer is as simple and ordinary as anyone. The difference is that while people go through life thinking, feeling, seeing, smelling, talking, and leaving behind their daily thoughts and feelings, the writer reacts to all this. And writers need where to record those reactions. ” This, for Fletcher, is the writer’s notebook.

‘The writer’s notebook: freeing the writer who is inside you’, which is a teaching book aimed at children, but useful to young people and adults too, offers all kinds of advice and practical exercises so that those who do not know how to take a Writing notebook learn to make your own.

There are people who write to write, to feel free or to vent their torment, as a form of self-help, without rules of any kind -in what are known as newspapers-, and not necessarily to survive and break the trial trying to create a super bestseller that leads to fame. So without being a professional writer desperate for the prize, anyone can become a happy amateur writer, noting at any time whatever he wants in his notebook.

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