Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I Write

My Tweet to #whyiwrite in recognition of today being National Writing Day: I write because it is an imperfect art accessible through its forgiveness of our imperfections and humanity. 

Yesterday, I gave my students the prompt Why I Write in anticipation and recognition of today being National Writing Day.  As I've learned to do through the NWP I write alongside of my students--yesterday was no exception.  The following is what I produced in my Writer's Notebook writing alongside of them:

I write for the _______  --there are so many reasons why I write that I find it difficult to place a thumbtack on one reason.  I write now, in this moment, to show you, my students that I do write, that I write alongside of you, that my writing isn't necessarily great or creative or inspirational--I write to show you that we all can struggle with it--I write because it is an imperfect art accessible through its forgiveness of our imperfections and humanity--I write for myself outside of class because it allows me to be private in public--in the moments that I write I am alone with my thoughts and I still realize others may read it--I wrote last November to grieve over the death of my beloved dog, Rain--I wrote last December to remember and celebrate the many loving uncles and aunts and grandparents I've been blessed by--I wrote Monday afternoon with my Nature Journal club to observe the outdoors, to relax and refocus myself--it can be a kind of therapy or cleansing as much as it can be a way to play and explore and create...


  1. Question: I love and appreciate the idea of writing along side my students and have done this in the past but with 3 classes all responding to the same prompt, I struggle with how to organize this. Do you start a new response for each class or add on to the previous class' response?

  2. I provide a new opportunity with each class for their Writer's Notebook; however, everything in their writer's notebook is a work in progress and they can always opt to continue/revise any of those in class, for an essay which they submit, etc.

    Their submitted essays are treated the same way--they can be (should be) revised again and again. I never tell them that they are "done" with a piece--they can keep revising.

    Their grade is based on their revision which they communicate to me through conferencing.