A few weeks ago, near the beginning of the month, I was invited by Christie Wyman of Wondering and Wandering to participate in a TeachWrite workshop hosted by Jennifer Laffin. As life right now would have it, I wasn’t able to participate in the next workshop, but I was able to participate in one last week. It was fun, and I thank both Christie and Jennifer for the opportunity to be there (Zoom there?).
As the workshop got started, the participants were invited to do a number of things, one of which was to write in our notebooks.
Errr, my notebook.
I have a strange relationship* with notebooks. In principle, I love them. I have several. I encourage (okay, require) my classroom students to use them. I mean, come on: A notebook! All writers use notebooks, right? I have several, and I even write in them. On occasion. Sometimes. Okay…rarely.
I know I’m supposed to, but more often than not, when I need a notebook to jot down an idea I don’t have one with me. Yes, I’ve tried a pocket notebook, but it only lasted a few days. What about when you sit down to write, one might ask? Honestly, typing (keyboarding…I know) is just easier. As an added bonus, when I use a computer, my work is now on all of my devices since I write in the world that is Google.
Anyway, back to the workshop. I did! I did write in my notebook. The novelty of doing so got me thinking about the process, and the first two stanzas of a poem actually came out of the time with the group. In the spirit of things, I actually finished the piece, then revised and edited it with a pencil on the page. Oddly enough, it came out with a rhyme scheme. That doesn’t happen often, but I like it when it does
Despite the ending, I really do like notebooks. Sort of.
A pencil on paper
A mark on the page
It’s like watching live music
Or an actor on stage
It’s not fingers on keys
And there isn’t a screen
It’s real, and it’s physical
Do you see what I mean?
Is it good? Is it better?
This writing by hand?
Does this scribbling unplugged
See my vision expand?
I think that it doesn’t
— Leave those voices ignored
You can keep all that scratching
And I’ll keep the keyboard
*then again, maybe I don’t–maybe I have a normal one and just don’t know it!