Sunday, August 19, 2012

Coming This Week!

Week of August 19, 2012: Finding Stories Within
Quote of the week:
Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
—Willa Cather

A new school year is about to begin here in Florida. My critique group friend, Cheryl, said she was excited to see all the school supplies on sale and can’t wait to stock up. I told her that’s a sure sign she is not a teacher!

I’m working at a new school this year. As I meet teachers for the first time and hear them talk about teaching writing, I hear similar things I’ve heard before. Sure, I’ll meet teachers who are excited about teaching writing, but most dread and fear it. They say things like:

R Writing is not my thing.
R My students last year hated writing.
R My students never have ideas for writing.
R I have no idea how to get started.

Writing is difficult to do. Ask any author. Writing is difficult to teach. Ask any writing teacher. Often aspiring authors have the same fears, doubts, and dreads that student writers and their teachers have. I hear picture book writers say:

R Maybe writing isn’t for me after all.
R I’m beginning to hate writing.
R I never have any new ideas.
R I don’t even know where to begin.

But to all of you I say—WAIT! Don’t give up! Let’s start with the basics. Let’s start with gathering ideas. Don’t worry about what you’ll do with those ideas, just gather them. The more ideas you have, the better. This week I’ll share with you five strategies for gathering ideas.

Monday—Remembering Your Inner Child
Tuesday—Stories from My Life
Wednesday—Memories with Strong Emotions
Thursday—Memorable People
Friday—Ask Yourself Three Questions

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