One thing I have learned by being a teacher of writers, is that I must write myself if I am going to be an effective teacher. When I write, I understand what my students go through when they are stuck or can’t come up with an idea. I understand the importance of organizing my random thoughts into something coherent and the power of a just-right word or perfectly structured sentence. I feel the joy of having written and sitting down with my students – writer to writer.
Today is the first Friday Night Quickwrite, a chance for you to grab a notebook and a favorite pen or open to a blank document on your computer. I invite you to take a a few minutes out of your weekend and write with me. I will share a poem or a text that has inspired me to write beside it. Sometimes I may share my notebook pages while other times I may share where the text led me in my thinking and my writing.
I invite you to share your own writing, your writing process, or your writing path in the comments section below. The importance doesn’t lie in the sharing; rather, it lies in the joy of writing.
For National Poetry Month, I wrote poems about quilts and shared them on my blog, A Day in the Life. I guess I still have quilts on my mind as that is the topic for this first quickwrite.
Quilts Nikki Giovanni Like a fading piece of cloth I am a failure No longer do I cover tables filled with food and laughter My seams are frayed my hems falling my strength no longer able To hold the hot and cold I wish for those first days When just woven I could keep water From seeping through Repelled stains with the tightness of my weave Dazzled the sunlight with my Reflection To read the rest of the poem, please visit Poets.org
What does this poem remind you of? Where does it lead you? Is there a line that stood out for you?
When I read this poem, I immediately thought about elderly people, people who sometimes don’t feel wanted or needed. I taped the poem inside my notebook and wrote beside it. I wrote about my mother-in-law during the time I returned to college to become a teacher. She had Parkinson’s disease and was confined to a wheelchair, but she would help me write my papers. It was a special time between us, and I am glad I captured these moments in my notebook.
I would love for you to join me in this first Friday Night Quickwrite! Write anything that Nikki’s words bring to mind for you and share it in the comments. I look forward to reading your words.
Leigh Anne Eck is a 6th grade English Language Arts teacher in southern Indiana, and she has been teaching face-to-face this school year. Although this has been a great class, she will be glad to see this year come to close in ten days!