Noticing the world around you is an important part of being a writer.
Doing so provides us interesting details and experiences that can seep their way into our writing.
But just noticing these things is not enough. We must write them down.
When I am working on fiction, there's a daily journaling format that I like to follow.
Every day in my journal, I will respond to these three prompts:
1. Something new I noticed.
2. Something I heard. (Write the dialogue as close to real as possible.)
3. Something new that I thought about.
Keeping a written record of these three things is a great way to build up a writer's notebook.
An added benefit is that you may notice that you become more aware of life around you. You may listen harder as you are standing in line at the deli counter, hoping to grab a few words of authentic dialogue. You may see something in a place where you never noticed it before. You may discover your awareness of new thinking is heightened.
This is also a great activity to do with students. At the end of the day, encourage your students to journal for a few minutes about these three things as well. Then in writing class, ask them to look through this journal to find interesting dialogue they could apply to a character or details that could spark a writing idea. This is writing based on real life!
How do you keep track of life that happens around you? What are your favorite daily writing rituals? Leave me a comment and let me know.
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