Developing the daily writing habit of making something really big (like a 300+ page book), changed me. I've been a blogger for years and a regular collector of stories through scrapbooking and journaling. All of this writing is like an addiction and suddenly, all of the pipe dreams of writing books seems possible. (Maybe.)
Celebrating Writers (Stenhouse, 2012). Christi Overman and I are writing about ways to celebrate writers within your classroom, local area, and global community. In the proposal, we wrote:
The story goes: Don Graves stood on a stage in front of an elementary school student body and announced, “I hate writing.” He received a standing ovation.
When the squeals and applause and foot stomps settled down, he added, “But I love having written.” It is this sentiment we want to resonate within our students – a love for having written. Writing is hard. It is also essential. For young writers to learn to write well, they must fall in love with “having written.” It is this that keeps them writing.
In order for students to “love having written,” they must celebrate their writing lives. Too often celebration is skipped in writing workshop. There are lots of reasons: we run out of time; we make it too complicated; we don’t believe it is rigorous enough. Yet if we don’t celebrate being writers, then all our students will remember is the part Don Graves (and most of them) hate.
The book we envision is a “weekend read” for K-6 writing workshop teachers. It is devoted to fueling writers through celebration. It isn’t a party planner for writing workshop – no, it is much more. It is a book that looks beyond published products and celebrates the lives of writers. It is a book intended to refuel both teachers and students to continue day in and day out the demanding work of living like a writer through writing workshop.
Someday I hope to include other big things I've written here like --
- YA titles
- A book about adoption to give hope and peace to parents
- Picture books
- Middle grade novels
- More professional titles
However, I'm realizing being a writer has little to do with publishing and a whole lot to do with putting words on the page. I'm a writer not because I'm published, but because I collect words in order to make sense of the world.
It's about time I document this little adventure.