Thursday, March 15, 2018

On Writing


I'm attempting to write everyday in March.Today is post 15 of 31.

The majority of my students, whether in fifth grade years ago or now in seventh grade, come to me with an acceptance as readers. Some tolerate books, some devour them, but the journey to being a person who enjoys reading isn't impossible. 

Writing, however, is another story.

For a long time I thought it was because I didn't write. As their teacher, I can talk to them about reading a book again because I have a book hangover. I can share about my love of series, my hatred for exposition, and how I connect with some characters so much I dream about them. When kids struggle with comprehension, I am able to give them suggestions from my own life. And yet, for a long time, I couldn't give them advice as a writer.

When I went to school writing was similar to math in my brain, there was a right way and a wrong way. I was convinced I was in the "wrong way" category. I didn't get grammar. Spelling, forget about it. Diagraming sentences made my head hurt. Writing just simply wasn't for me. It's only been in the last few years that I've began to write and had any pride in what I created. Don't get me wrong, it still isn't my strength. Rereading something I have written fills me with anxiety and a wish that I could somehow do it better. What I've found, however, is that the more I write, the easier it gets.

And so I challenge myself to months like this. Months where I go into the kitchen at 8:10pm, ready to go upstairs and read, only to realize I still need to write a blog post. Months that contain days like today where I have no idea what I'm going to write, but make myself start knowing that an idea will come to me. That's what I share with my students. When we gather together for a quick write and I start the timer telling them, just begin with something, knowing that the act of beginning, the act of not allowing yourself to give up, will build and result in writing. It takes awhile, many of my students do not enjoy trying something, at first, that they are not automatically successful at. But when they keep at it, keep trying, amazing writing can occur. The secret is that you just have to write. 
 
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