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!