As I was mining my writer’s notebook for ideas to write about tonight, I came across a really great quote that I feel sums up what the Slice of Life challenge forces all of us to do.
“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” ~Jane Yolen
How true is this, not only in our lives, but in the lives of the writers in our classrooms? I know when I haven’t written in my writer’s notebook in a while, I’m rusty. It takes a while to knock off the cobwebs, clear away the junk, and get started. Sometimes it’s all I have just to write a few sentences or a list. Other times I can write and write for pages upon pages until my hand hurts.
What happens in your class when writer’s workshop has been inconsistent? When writers haven’t had ample opportunities to stretch those writing muscles? They seize up, get weaker, and sometimes need a push to get going again. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make writer’s workshop a consistent and predictable part of your day where students are not only encouraged to write daily, but are expected to do so. You’ll be amazed how much better your writers will be when they are simply given time to write.
How are your writing muscles developing? Mine are slowly but surely getting stronger, and thanks to the encouragement from the SOL community, they’re bound to be stronger come April 1st!