Writing Small

“Maybe the single most important lesson you can learn as a writer is to write small.”  

           -Ralph Fletcher in A Writer’s Notebook:  Unlocking the Writer Within You

I’m planning to go back to my notebook and do some of the gathering work I used to do.  I want to live the writerly life, really pushing myself to pay closer attention to this world around me. I think it might help me through this period of quarantine and social distancing. I think it might help kids and families too.

Today I’m going to try to write small.  I’ve decided to take an ordinary object and really zoom in to write about it. I’ll see where this takes me.

A Post-it

The Post-it is a perfect square.  It is 3 inches by 3 inches, and there is nothing on it – no words, no lines, no quotes. The color is bright pink.  I mean REALLY bright pink.  It’s brighter than a neon flamingo sign I saw in Florida this winter. I’m actually having trouble looking at it for a long time.  It’s making my eyes sort of jump around.  That’s how bright the pink is. And of course it’s sticky, but not so sticky that it ever rips the paper.  It’s the kind of magical sticky that can be re-stuck over and over and over again on many different surfaces.  It boggles my mind the way this works.

I have Post-its everywhere.  I use them for lessons, I write myself reminders and to do lists, I leave notes on them for family members, and I love nothing better than completing everything on the Post-it and throwing it away.

I’m amazed at how many different types of these sticky notes there are. There are sticky notes that have lines, and some that don’t, some are tiny, some are huge.  They come in every color imaginable, and in all sorts of shapes.  I personally like the 3×3 plain square.

I wonder how the Post-it notes feel.  I hope they know how much I need them.  I can’t imagine my life without this amazing tool.  I hope they know how they help me stay organized, how they help me remember all of the things I need to remember and accomplish in this busy life.  I hope they know how much I rely on them to make my lessons clear and engaging for students.  I hope they know how lost and out of control I would be without them.

Here’s to you, square, pink, plain Post-it!



7 thoughts on “Writing Small”

  1. I never thought about the magic of the stickiness…some brands aren’t as magical as the actual post-it brand! I love the quote you chose to lead this slice.

  2. I love your description of the color – I knew exactly the pink you were describing, possibly because I, too, am a post-it note junkie. And I love the idea of writing small & really noticing things. Our world is more circumscribed these days, but maybe by paying attention to the details, I can change the way that feels. Also, by the end, I could almost imagine you apostrophizing the post-it note… I’m imagining a poem or speech (maybe an ode?) that begins “Oh, post-it note, I cannot live without you!” heeheehee

  3. Wow! You did write small about a small thing that is so important in our lives. I love how you showed the Post It’s importance by highlighting all its uses and usefulness. I saw your Post It…you took something familiar and really dug into it.

  4. Save it to video for our challenge. Success at writing small. I am missing my Post-it bin from my office while I am home.

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