Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The One Where I #write2connect #slice2013

Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here

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October 20th is The National Day on Writing. Did you celebrate!? There were lots of ways to connect and share your love of writing online and especially via Twitter. I've loved writing for a long time now but as I reflect of my love of writing, I can definitely see how it has evolved over time in an amazing way.
I really owe much of this evolvement of my love of writing to how I connect as a writer. When I was in 5th grade, my teacher, Ms. Corn, asked us to keep notebooks where she would respond to us throughout the year. I wish I could remember more details about what we wrote about and how often we wrote back and forth in these notebooks, but I can't. What I do remember was that at the end of the year, she invited me out to lunch to celebrate and thank me because she used my notebook for coursework she had worked on that year.  I remember feeling super special because of my work as a writer. We had connected all year through this notebook and I was super proud of myself as a writer.

Throughout middle school and high school, I participated in writer's workshop. This is where I truly learned about and embrace the writing process. I wholeheartedly believe in the writing process and believe that finding a great friend who honestly critiqued my writing while still supporting it, helped me to feel confident in sharing my writing. I also had great teachers who gave me equally supportive constructive feedback in teacher conferences. I think an editor is just this kind of supporter - giving feedback while also pushing a writer to improve their writing with guidance - and I also believe that sharing writing this closely forges amazing connections.

As an adult, I have been blogging since 2008 and I absolutely love it. Blogging has allowed me to connect with so many readers. I'm so thankful with all the connections I have made my being part of this blogging community. Twitter is a kind of mini-version of blogging because I can also connect because of what I've written...it's just limited to those precious 140 characters. 

On Saturday, I celebrated my new free-writing notebook. I love journaling and keep notes all over the place but this new free-writing notebook is really about connecting with myself and my thoughts about my writing. I've found that just taking a few minutes to explore a topic really helps me clarify my thoughts and then I'm hoping that will carry over into my writing. It might be kind of strange to think of connecting with myself but it's totally true!
My free-writing notebook also stems from Teachers Write. I had my free-writing-epiphany over the summer when I was stuck on a scene in my novel but I've extended into the work I'm doing with students this year, talking to them about my process and how free writing helps me. I've connected with so many colleagues around the world participating in Teachers Write but also with the student writers I've been working with. 

On Sunday, Peanut and I shared how much he loves reading and graphic novels over at Nerdy Book Club but Peanut and I have been connecting through writing more lately, too. We started a notebook where we can write letters to each other. So far we've only written a few times and my page-long letters are usually met with one line or a picture from Peanut but it's still connecting with writing and I'm sure he'll grow as a writer as the year goes on. Hey, it's kind of like the notebook I had with my 5th grade teacher! I just realized!
Writing is imperative if we are going to teach writing. Actively writing, communicating and connecting through writing is the only way to experience how writing impacts us - how it makes us think reflectively and critically, causes us to analyze good writing and use mentor texts to improve upon our writing, gives us the opportunity to persevere through the writing process. By experiencing what writers experience, we are better equipped to support students as writers. Writing takes so many different forms! Writing doesn't have to be writing a book, writing doesn't have to be blogging. There are so many opportunities to write and to connect with others who are writing. What's most important is to get writing!

How did you celebrate the National Day on Writing? What are some ways that you write to connect?


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