As you begin to keep a notebook, you will soon find that the challenge of making regular entries stimulates the senses to see and hear more clearly, to respond and recognize. As a keeper of a notebook, you must be perpetually alive and aware of what is going on both inside and outside the self. […]
FOREMOST OBJECTIVE: The purpose for your journal-writing is INQUIRY–to process emotionally and intellectually the material we are dealing with, to record for yourself what you have just learned, to think through what you don’t yet understand.
These are excerpts from the Writer’s Notebook assignment in a college literature course taught long ago by a now-retired high school teacher–a sage who voice has lingered as a constant in my writing life. The theme of this assignment would come back in every subsequent writing course I took, though no project demanded as much of my on-going energy, skill, and creativity as that first, which is why I’ve taken the time to excavate the artifact.
This approach to learning as a creative writer comes to mind because it’s long overdue that I apply a similar approach to my learning as a software tester. The objective of my virtual Tester’s Notebook is to take the thoughts and questions I have about software testing during my day job and push them further–to question, debate, explain, joke, rattle, riff. I have found that I can sit and think for hours and hours, and still fail to come to the understanding and ideas that visit me during the act of writing.
Thanks for reading!
– Jeremy Wenisch, May 2011