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Discover Writing!

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http://blog.writingspirit.com/2012/06/10-steps-to-becoming-a-better-writer-by-brain-clark-copyblogger.html
 

Writing. Writing has been on my mind. It has been on my mind a lot. I am nearing the 2nd year anniversary of my blog and this post marks my 99th contribution to the blogsphere. The 10 tips above hit home. There are some days I have to force myself to write and others the writing just flows.

I am guessing all writers have moments where they have everything to say and moments when they have nothing to say. The past two years of blogging have been incredible. I have watched myself move on the continuum of a reluctant writer to one that enjoys the time spent reflecting on “electronic paper.” I look at the world differently. I am searching for writing topics more than ever. The amazing thing is – one never knows where the next inspiration will come from.

Today is one of those days that I can’t think of anything to write about – so why not write about writing. The only way we get better at anything is to practice that of which we want to improve in our lives – just as the 10 steps above signify.

As an educator I’ve asked students to write on numerous occasions. I have watched many stare at their paper unable to get started. I use to encourage them to just start. Our phrase was “conquer the power of the white (paper).” It wasn’t until I fully implemented the Writer’s Workshop approach and began writing (really writing) with my students that I truly understood all I was asking of my students. It was in becoming a writer alongside my students that I experienced first hand the joys and struggles of being a writer.

How could this be? How could I not already understand the joys and struggles. I had in fact gone through a K-12 education and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from a university. Yet, in all my years in education I can only really remember being given writing assignments. I was never asked to find my own voice as a writer. I was writing for a grade or to complete an assigned task. My audience was primarily my instructor. Real world writing is much, much different.

When we are asked to write as part of our job, we may feel it is an assigned task – yet our audience is much wider than the typical “hand in your paper to your teacher” approach. Real world, on the job writing has a larger audience. We write for a purpose. Perhaps we are asked to write a proposal, a grant, or great a presentation. Whatever the format is, it is bound to be read by more people and the outcomes are much greater than an arbitrary grade.

Writing for the sake of writing is even different from “on the job writing.” When was the last time you wrote for yourself? When have you compose your thoughts and ideas and stretched your ideas just for the sake of writing? If you are a reader of blogs, chances are you may also be a blogger yourself. If not, I encourage you to start. If you ask your students to write – it is important for you to discover yourself as a writer as well. Your students will become stronger writers if you can model writing like a writer rather than assigning them tasks.

Find some time yet this summer to sit and compose. Let your mind wander and see where it takes you. Conquer the power of the white electronic page! Let your thoughts roll from your mind, down your arms and through your finger tips. Don’t stop. Keep writing. Find your voice. Share your ideas with the world. Reflect on your day. The world is waiting to hear from you. Your ideas matter. Blogging is a wonderful way to feel what it like to put yourself out there as a writer.

I will leave you with the thoughts of others on the topic of why teachers should blog! The common theme is all four links is that blogging provides the opportunities for self-reflection and evaluation. Go for it!

Seven Reasons Teachers Should Blog

Ten Good Reasons Teachers Should Blog

Ten Reasons Teachers Should Blog and Tweet

My Number 1 Reason Teachers Should Blog

Categories: Blogging, Change, Writing
Tags: , ,

12 Comments to Discover Writing!

  1. Fran McVeigh (@franmcveigh)
    July 14, 2012 11:58 am

    Awesome post! I was thinking David Letterman and a countdown from 10 to 1 in a mini-slide show would be the only idea in my brain that would increase the effectiveness and hammer home the point: To be a better writer, one must write and write and write!

    I also appreciate the links at the end. I can’t wait to share this with a class where teachers are still talking about “what is a blog?” (Reading in the Content Area)

  2. 1 Story A Week
    July 14, 2012 12:03 pm

    Self-discipline is often far more powerful than creativity. Great post!

  3. katenonesuch
    July 14, 2012 7:12 pm

    Interesting post, Kathy. Working with adult literacy students helped me get over my writer’s block. It was partly admiring my students’ willingness to tackle anything, and partly the many times I repeated such things as, “Get something down, doesn’t matter how bad or good. Editing is easier than writing.”

  4. Corinne
    July 14, 2012 7:40 pm

    I love this post, Kathy. I’ve been thinking a lot about similar things. In our crowded school curriculum, sometimes I think the true joy of writing can get lost. Our students are required to write in order to meet certain requirements, pass exams, show proficiency and understanding. We use criterion based assessments like rubrics, to measure how well our students are structuring their work, using particular word types and forms of expression. We teach our students how to perform well on these tests. It all seems a little off to me. In our efforts to define good writing using criteria that can then be taught and measured, I wonder, are we losing the essence of what good writing is all about?

    The best writing I read gives me a sense of that writer’s voice, a window into their soul. I feel a connection with that person.

    And for me, writing serves as a means of discovering my own voice. I need to write in order to thrive.

    I hope you don’t mind me leaving such a long comment – you inspired a whole train of thought!

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