Inspired by the question posed by Margaret Simon’s #DigitLit and the upcoming National Day to Write on October 20th, I took the bait and thought about WHY I write.
I write to tell, not an anybody story, but MY story.
I write to have power.
I write to share and then read others’ writing to be inspired to write more.
I learned to write by attending Summer Institutes at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. One workshop by Shana has stuck with me. She showed a first draft of Abraham’s story and then the revised story where he worked to make it not just an anybody story but a story only he could tell. (To see Abraham’s writing, click here and scroll down to my notes on Shana’s workshop.)
His revised story wasn’t something that anybody else could write. It was a story ONLY HE could tell. It was HIS story. That stuck with me. I write and as I do, I include the details of MY moment. It is my story that ONLY I can tell.
I was further reminded of this when both a friend, Catherine Flynn, and and I wrote about hearing Lucy Calkins’ keynote at the beginning of the 2016 August Summer Reading Institute. We both were at the same event. We both listened for one hour. Then we both wrote about it. Catherine here and Me here. Yet, both of us focused on very different parts. We both wrote that moment as our own story. This is ONE reason that I write. I experience the world, reflect on it and respond in a way that is unique to me.
I also write because as Lucy tells in this video, “Writing changes the world.” It is powerful tool. It is a way to get our opinion on a topic across in a peaceful way. At times, it will powerfully make change. I’m not writing The Declaration of Independence to create a county, but I am happy when I have changed a few things in my little world because of my writing!
Finally, I write and share. Teachers College Reading and Writing Project taught me the writing process and emphasized that it includes sharing/publishing. So I now write and on Tuesdays and every day in March, I try to post here as part of the TwoWritingTeachers writing community. Because I know others will read my writing, I work a bit harder at it before posting. Because I am a part of this writing community, I get a good feeling when another reads my writing and leaves me a comment. I also take time to read others’ writing and leave a comment. Always, another writer inspires me to keep writing and often inspires a writing structure or genre or topic to write about. I write in a community of writers and in so doing, gain energy to keep writing.
As I get ready to celebrate National Day of Writing in two days, I can honestly say that I am a proud writer who writes to tell, not an anybody story, but MY story and I write to have power and I write to share and then read other’s writing and be inspired to write more. I am most grateful that I live in a place and time where I am allowed and encouraged to be a writer.
I will be celebrating this on Thursday, October 20, 2016 and every day!