Saturday, March 19, 2011

Prearrangement

SOLS Challenge Day 16
(I've used up my 3 free days!)
Writing.  I teach writing workshop.  I am one of the "go-to" folks when teachers have questions in this arena.  Over the years, I have not met many teachers who love to teach it.   In fact, some folks will do anything not to teach it.

I get it.  These people are simply not comfortable with writing themselves.  Neither was I. When I was in school, nobody really taught us the craft of writing.  Sure, we were taught grammar.  We were good at diagramming sentences.  When we wrote, we received our papers back with red marks and a numerical grade.  Few teachers commented on the craft or content of our pieces.  This did not do much for our confidence as writers.

But as I have learned to teach writing, I have begun the journey of learning to write myself. 

In Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, her father tells her, "Do it every day for a while.  Do it as you would do scales on the piano.  Do it by prearrangement with yourself.  Do it as a debt of honor.  And make a commitment to finishing things."

I thank Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for giving me a push to prearrange this time to write everyday for the month of March.  It has challenged me to write when I don't feel like it.  It has pushed me to write when I am tired, or when my proverbial plate is overflowing with other commitments.  I am becoming more observant every day.  I am becoming a better writer, and a better teacher.

4 comments:

  1. I agree with you & hope you can convince others to write with their students. I am taking this challenge too this year, & thankfully, the teachers I have persuaded are seeing something new in their classes, students who want to write, & write, & write! I like that you called this thing we're doing a 'journey'. It is something that all can do, journey, no matter where they are on the path. Keep trying!

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  2. I absolutely agree! The practice makes things flow that much quicker. I am on the prowl for topics. It is amazing how in just 19 days I feel like writing is no longer a chore. I think a big thanks needs to go out to all who take the time to comment. The comments keep me going. Thank you Mrs. S.

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  3. I love the flow of your piece. Wish we could talk. :) Writer's workshop is a subject that takes practice. When I mentor new teachers, I explain that they will grow in stages in WW. I'm anxious to get the book. Love the quote. So true. I'm also glad for the SOL challenge. It has really creted energy in me and also allowed me a place to try differnt types of writing. MaryHelen

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  4. You are right it teaches discipline. I feel more confident in my own writing.

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