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I am a writer. The more I say that sentence, the easier it gets...well, not easier to do, but easier to accept. This past week two of my favorite writers documented their own struggles with their craft.
I like that. It's honest. It's authentic. I'm in good company. Feeling like a fake. Feeling not good enough is something that every writer faces. In reading the rest of Anne Lamott's post she writes about not knowing what her next book will be about. Initially I thought, "How could ANNE LAMOTT not know what to write?!?!" And then I smiled. I get it! I just didn't think she felt that struggle.
I want my students to feel this struggle and know it's worth it. We are writing and sharing our writing with writing groups. I'm calling it the independent writing project. I'm using Gail Carson Levine's book "Writing Magic" as a read aloud to guide us through our process.
Students are excited and frustrated and scared and thrilled. I want them to know that all writers struggle with ideas and share their writing to make it better. We will write and revise and write and edit and start all over again. I'm getting lots of permission questions right now. "May I write...?" "What if I write about...?" "Now I want to write...is that ok?" YES! YES! YES!
In school, I am working on a novel in verse. Recently I've read some amazing books like this and I want to see if I can do this. At home, in my writing I'm working on an idea...it's still percolating...so I'm not ready to share. Writing gets me more writing. I, like my students, need permission to write badly. In writing badly, I eventually get to the good ideas. Having faith that the good ideas are there...behind all of the bad writing...that's what my struggle right now.
This journey of writing helps me talk to my students as fellow writers. It gives me the same experience as them and we share the same vocabulary about our successes and our struggles. See, I'm in good company!