Friday, June 15, 2012

What "Real" Authors Say

Week of June 10, 2012: Finding Inspiration
Friday, June 15—What “Real” Authors Say

If you have followed Picture This! for any length of time you have learned that I love quotes. Quotes I collect are little pearls of wisdom that someone spoke at some time probably without realizing how profound the thought was. I collect inspirational quotes, quotes about processes and products, quotes about children, and, of course, quotes about writing.

This may be a shock to you, but sometimes my students don’t think their teachers know a thing. (Even more shocking is that my students think the same thing! J) At other times, a teacher can say something so many times that students stop listening. But when a stranger or another person, who is respected for one reason or another, says the exact, same words, students suddenly grasp hold of the words as gospel. For instance, I tell my students over and over about the importance of revising their work. Usually it’s not until I introduce a Roald Dahl quote on the subject that they listen. Roald Dahl said . . .

“By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and
altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. Good writing is essentially
rewriting. I am positive of this.”

Quotes can be powerful teaching tools. Since I display quotes from writers, incorporate them in my teaching, and share them verbally, I want children to be able to collect the quotes that mean the most to them. I provide each student with a sheet like the one below.

You might wonder what the “real” authors on the sheet means. I use the words writer and author interchangeable with students (and on this blog). But I often talk with students about “real” authors, the professionals who get paid for their writing or even earn a living from their writing. So think of real as meaning professional on this sheet.

As you attend conferences, read books about writing, and browse the internet, keep your eyes open for quotes. Find a quote and you most likely will find some inspiration, too.

1 comment:

Janet Smart said...

I totally agree! We all need a little inspiration every now and then.