Letting others read what you have written.

I’ve been in a really interesting reversal- of- role situation lately. As a teacher I encourage my students to read out their writing. “After all,” I say, “Writing exists for readers. It calls out to be shared!” But now I’m the pupil my thoughts are a bit different! 

I’m taking  poetry classes and a few weeks ago it took a lot of courage for me to  share some of my poems. I felt my intestines twist up and my heart beat extra fast as I waited my turn. I read way too fast in my haste to get it over with. Then everyone started to give me feedback. Some laughed, some picked out words or phrases they liked and then…( insert Jaws movie soundtrack) …some of them challenged my choices and asked questions. “What did I mean by….?” ‘Why did I choose to …?” 

I had to whisper to myself that it didn’t mean they hated my work, that it was help. They made me really think about what I’d written and how I could make changes to improve it. It wasn’t easy though. Just as it isn’t easy sending away your writing to a publisher who very politely turns you down. I’ve decided that’s not a reason to stop writing, only a hint to keep getting better at it.

So to my pupils, I’m not taking the pressure off you to share what you’ve written because it’s for your own good. Also because I love hearing what kids write and I get so many ideas from you!

 

Heather

 

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