Cooking Something Up

Today, I was talking with a colleague about wanting to set up a writing community with some teachers in my district. Just a place where teachers who like to write can share their work, get feedback, troubleshoot and commiserate.

Part of that is because after participating in the Slice of Life story challenge, I’ve made a commitment to writing every day. And since the beginning of March, I’ve kept up on that.

I’ve gained a lot as a writer:
-I’m better at fiction than I give myself credit for
-I realize how much I crave and welcome feedback
-I like it when my writing makes other people think
-I’m better at putting things out into the world, even if I haven’t revised them a million times or feel 100% about them.

And that’s helped me in so many ways as a teacher, including:
-I was able to encourage a kid to post her work for others’ feedback, even though she didn’t think she spent enough time on it.
-I validated my students’ complaints that fiction is hard to write because it’s so hard to produce our mental image for others on paper.
-I convinced a student to drop a story that went nowhere in favor of a plot that had a clear focus.

And the best bonus? I now remember why I like to write.

I want that for my colleagues who write.

I don’t know what it would look like.

I don’t know who would even want to do it.

But I have to think there would be someone – even one – who would get something out of the experience, as I have.

Wish me luck.

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2 Responses to “Cooking Something Up”

  1. Fran Haley Says:

    I do wish you luck. For several years I got to co-facilitate a summer writing institute for teachers and it was such a rich experience … one teacher cried after a conference with my colleague: “No one has ever given me this kind of feedback on my writing before.” This is where the journey really begins. I used to be in a writing group years ago and know that you cannot really grow as a writer unless you share and get that kind of feedback. Sometimes it’s valuable, too, to have a trusted person who’s a READER vs. writer to let you know what works and doesn’t. Small is good! More time for in-depth discussion! I think you can just hammer out the particulars once you start… tailor it like we do in class.

    You excel at writing fiction. It’s energetic, captivating, alive.

    Most of all: “I now remember why I like to write.” This makes my heart sing.

    Just.Do.It.

    • Lainie Levin Says:

      Thank you! I just have to figure out how to approach it. Everyone is so fried, and so far at the end of their rope. It’s like, I know that writing could be a lifeline, but definitely not if people aren’t emotionally ready to take it on.

      I also took to heart your thoughts about having READERS give us feedback. After all, they’re who we’re all about, right?

      Thanks so much for the encouragement.
      Just. Gotta. Figure. Out. WHEN. To. Do. It. =)

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