It think it was Winnie the Pooh who said, "It's so much friendlier with two." When learning something new, it's always nice to have a friend beside you. Section 20 of Spilling Ink is a short one, dedicated to finding a writing buddy. It even includes a cute contract that both buddies sign, promising that they will write "x" amount each day and that they will exchange pieces and support each other on a regular schedule. Pretty brave, huh?
As writing teachers, we need to be our students' writing buddies. We have to roll up our sleeves and write with them. They have to know that it's an important enough endeavor that we are willing to struggle alongside them.
It reminds me of the 20 bug bites with which I am covered right now. My kids get bug bites all the time. When they muck about in the woods behind our house, bug bites are inevitable, even when they remember the bug spray. They complain, and my pat response is, "Go find the calamine lotion." Off they go, to diligently dot themselves with the runny pink potion.
This weekend, I was in the woods with them, finding the perfect trees between which to put their dad's Father's Day hammock. It was quite an ordeal, but that's another story. Later on in the day, the itching ensued. I was miserable. I drove straight to CVS and bought a wonderful little cortizone stick--- instant, cool relief. It is a much quicker, less messy, and more convenient remedy than the calamine.
Those bug bites of mine are just like pesky little writing problems our students have. If we have never struggled with these bug bites ourselves, all we can do is hand them the calamine and hope for the best.