In Section 29 of Spilling Ink, Anne Mazer asks, "Are you an innie or an outie?" She compares belly buttons to two kinds of writers: the "more-is-better" writer and the "less-is-more" writer. Mazer encourages young writers to think about their style and pinpoint it, but not to be scared to move from one type of writing to the other.
Now that we have been through twenty-nine blog posts together, I feel we can get personal-- I am an innie. I am also a "less-is-more" writer. I am forever finding words that I can remove-- tightening the prose, sharpening my meaning. Once we, as writing teachers, have figured out what type of writers we are, the next challenge is to help students discover what type of writer they are, which is closely related to finding their writer's voice.
To me, that is what this whole writing thing is about. Helping kids find their voices. Empowering them to put pencil to paper and to make a difference with their words. Whether they are "innies" or "outies", they all have something to say and it is our job to help them figure out the best way to say it.