Writing Truths

Today is Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers.  This community has been instrumental in helping me live a writerly life!  Come join us!


Writing Truths

“What a wonderful tribute to your friend and principal.”

“You managed to captured the spirit of P. so well.”

“That was such a moving piece of writing. Would you be willing to share a copy of that piece?”

These were the comments I heard last week after delivering a speech honoring my dear friend and former principal who passed away from cancer one year ago. I had nominated her for a plaque honoring community members who contributed to the lives of the children, and so I was asked to share a few words at the celebration.  Writing these words was indeed a labor of love and when I sat down to write the speech I was amazed at how readily the words came together.  Why was that?  What made writing this piece so easy?  My reflection led me back to the truths of writing workshop that are near and dear to me.

  • Writers talk before putting words to paper.  Long before I put pen to paper I spent time simply talking about our friend and sharing ideas with colleagues.
  • Writers need partners.  After putting my talk on paper I read my words to peers. I asked for critical feedback on the lead, the ending, and the flow. My writing partners were valuable as I judged I could be vulnerable and share my work with them before it was perfect.
  • Writers have a choice in topic. I was asked to share a few words at the celebration about my friend, but I had a choice as to how those words would best reflect the honoree.  I choice a unique style with a little bit of humor to lighten the evening.
  • Writers write best what they know (and care) about.  These words certainly rang true when writing these words.  I cared about my friend so the words flowed across the page without any effort. It was easy to pour my heart out without stress or strain because of our relationship.
  • Writers need time and practice.  I could not have written this piece nor this post a few short years ago.  Writing and sharing a slice of life post each Tuesday with the community over at Two Writing Teachers for the last three years has given me the hope and encouragement to live a writerly life.  I am ever grateful for being on this journey with these incredible practitioners.

These are my writing truths, learned through trial and error.  What would you include on this list?  What have I missed? How do we make time to include all these important pieces in our daily teaching of writing?  I’d love to hear your input as I strive to grow in my writing practice as a writer and a teacher of writing!




3 Replies to “Writing Truths”

  1. I think practice-practice-practice is the most important. I teach 6-8 grades… all the same kids for three years in a row. Seeing their writing lives develop is gratifying. We write A LOT in my class, so by the time they graduate from 8th grade, I know that all the practicing we’ve done in class has made them ready for high school. Great post!

  2. All your points are thoughtful and important. The last idea of practice rings especially powerfully. With kids we expect progress in a year – for me it took many years until I felt that maybe I could write. Having the support of others has been detrimental in building my writerly life. Thank you for your slice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: