Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I made up stories and characters, jotting them down in a journal. With the kids down the street, I kept a spiral notebook where we recorded all our top-secret clubhouse business in the neighborhood. My Hello Kitty diary, decorated in my favorite puffy stickers and safely hidden on the top shelf of my bedroom closet, held my deepest, darkest secrets, fears, and dreams.
Here’s why I write:
I write to…
Understand the world,
Explore a curiosity,
Process an experience,
Tell someone how I feel,
Capture life experiences,
Remember those important to me,
Record my people’s history, and
Talk back to injustices.
I write to…
Learn and stretch my thinking,
Reflect on my own process,
Document my journey,
Celebrate life, and
I love how I can embroider life’s moments on the page, and then let it fly into the world on the wings of the Internet. You see, writing begs for an audience and for sharing. Be brave and share your written words. It doesn’t matter if it’s ready for a publishing house – every piece is a work in progress, no matter where you are in the process. The more you share, the more feedback you gather along the way, and the more you will be able to sculpt and hone your work. Be open to all of it.
Writing is like a muscle – the more you use it and train, the stronger and more agile you will be. Increase your stamina with strength and endurance training. Sculpt and tone your writing muscles by lifting the weights of many different approaches and genres. Try every angle until you find what works for you, but don’t be afraid to switch it up. Raise the bones of mentor texts. Identify the moves authors make. Refer to anchor charts, and stick with it for chunks of time. Train in pairs and teams to stretch your writing muscles, pulling everyone’s craft to higher levels. Reflect on your progress, celebrate your accomplishments, and set goals often. Take care of your writing muscles.
As your writing coach, here’s what you can expect from me:
- Create a safe and respectful writing community, where you can take risks, experiment, and challenge yourself.
- Give you time to write in class, because I value writing and your growth as a writer.
- Model every writing process and approach, writing beside you as a co-learner and co-writer.
- Choose high-quality mentor texts to inspire your learning so you can level up your craft.
- Structure efficient response groups for you to work in teams and gather feedback.
- Help you connect your writing to the real world, because this is another reason why we write.
I can’t wait to help you find your reasons to write this year!