Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Writing is Hard {SOL 8.02.16}

Writing is hard work.

But I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I?

One of the things I wanted to do this summer was write some stories that I could share with my 5th graders.  Funny school themed stories that capture the lives up upper elementary students.

I want my students to see me 'walk the walk', but I also want  them to know that I know how difficult writing can be because I've been there.

I go back to school in three weeks and I still don't have even one story to share with them.  I've tried writing. A lot. While I feel like I may actually be on the verge of a story breakthrough, I've learned quite a bit along the way that I will take back to my classroom:

* Writing IS hard, especially when that little voice is telling us that we don't have any ideas. We need to learn to tell that voice to be quiet or tell the one that is cheering us along to speak louder.

* Timed writing actually works for getting words out of your head and down on paper. Writing continuously for 10 minutes has brought me some pretty cool ideas that I never would have found if I had just sat and stared at my computer for 10 minutes.

* Sometimes, you just have to get it out. Keeping an idea in your head that you don't write on paper actually blocks your creativity like a dam blocks water. Even if you don't think you'll use it, write it down. You can always edit it out later.

* Imperfect is okay. I am a natural born perfectionist and I want my writing pages to look just a certain way. This summer, I have worked on being okay with scribbled out words, messy margins, and bad handwriting.

I truly feel that when we allow our students the freedom of choice in our classroom, they take writing more seriously, show more growth, and take more risks in the writing. However, choice can be messy. My writing this summer has shown me that.

So even though my writing has been challenging this summer, I'm still glad that I am a teacher who writes. I will return to the classroom a better writing teacher because of it.

14 comments:

  1. Yes, writing is hard! Someone once said to me that if it was easy everyone would do it. Isn't that the truth? I'm glad you shared about the perfectionist part. I too am that way. I don't like to see my messy handwriting and I'm a horrible speller so I constantly worry about spelling when I physically write. I'm working on getting over it. I just finished facilitating a workshop on "reflective writing" and that's what I'll be sharing with my students. It's basically real world writing like we do here. I always enjoy your blog so whatever you share with your students will be wonderful!

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  2. It's wonderful to read the learning that has happened, and that you're okay with messy, okay with no stories, so far! I think practice really does help, and your students will see and here the effort you've put into it. Thanks for the inspiration from each point!

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  3. So, so important for teachers to be writers and truly understand all that you have shared in this post. I'm betting that you'll come up with some stories in the next few weeks!

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  4. Writing is hard, but yet it can be so easy when you have a tale to tell. I bet your ten minute writings will be just the spark you need to begin those untold stories.

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  5. Makes me feel better about my writing this summer. Always reach high, but I fail. I still have a few weeks too, maybe I'll get something down on paper. :) Maybe I'll try your 10 minute idea. Thanks!!!

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  6. While you may not have stories, you certainly have experience and lessons! You. Are. A. Writer!

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  7. I go back next week and share your stress about not really having the kind of writing you were hoping for to share with your students. Your lessons learned are super valuable and a non writer could not share them with her students!

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  8. This is so true. I have struggled with writing this summer. This struggle after a year of constant flow of ideas is painful, but I have faith that if I keep writing I will come out on the other side. We have to write so that we know how hard it is.

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  9. Yes, you are so right. But, writing is all about discipline - you do it whether you want to or not, whether you feel good about what you are writing or not. As Kimberley so wisely says:We have to write so that we know how hard it is.

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  10. Yes, you are so right. But, writing is all about discipline - you do it whether you want to or not, whether you feel good about what you are writing or not. As Kimberley so wisely says:We have to write so that we know how hard it is.

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  11. I wrote about this as well this week. I am writing one sentence a day - just a quick note on what happened during the day. I am working to build a writing habit. Good luck this year with your students.

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  12. WRITING IS SO HARD!! I agree and can't wait to show my students that I know it's hard! Thanks for writing my thoughts!

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  13. WRITING IS SO HARD!! I agree and can't wait to show my students that I know it's hard! Thanks for writing my thoughts!

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  14. Yes, writing is hard! We can definitely all agree with that. I had the same hopes as you this summer. I was planning on doing a lot of writing in my writer's notebook and during Teachers Write, but that negative little voice in my head was/is way louder than the other encouraging one. The lessons you learned struggling with your writing this summer will help guide your 5th grade kiddos in the fall. Have a great year!

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