Friday Night Quickwrite

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.

Tonight’s Prompt:

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!

7 thoughts on “Friday Night Quickwrite

  1. Donnetta Norris May 8, 2021 at 5:16 pm Reply

    After reading “Quilts” by Nikki Giovanni, I thought about all the race day T-shirts I have folded neatly upstairs. I have held on to them hoping to one day have them made into a quilt.

    I wrote more about in my notebook and posted it on my blog. – https://teacherreaderwriter.blogspot.com/2021/05/t-shirts-and-quilts-may-8-2021.html

    Liked by 2 people

    • Leigh Anne Eck May 8, 2021 at 6:10 pm Reply

      Thank you for joining us, Donnetta! I am glad this prompt inspired you to write this weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Margaret Egler May 7, 2021 at 9:37 pm Reply

    I love the personification of the quilt and the bittersweet acknowledgment: “I grow old though please with my memories/The tasks I can no longer complete/Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past.” Today was a “snow day” — an ironic wink from our East Coast founders of a school in San Diego — so I got to listen to some podcasts as I ran errands. I listened first to an On Being rebroadcast of an interview with Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, whose work has centered on the difference between our experiential self and our reflective self. Kahneman went into this work thinking our experiential self reigned supreme, but he discovered we spend much more time in reflection, and that memories of an experience were more significant than the experience itself. Sounds very Dewey-esque 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Leigh Anne Eck May 8, 2021 at 1:05 pm Reply

      Thank you for joining and sharing your thoughts. This sounds like an interesting podcast. Interesting thinking about the memories of an experience being more significant than the experience itself. I could see how that could be true. I may have to look this up and have a listen. Thank you for sharing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathy May 7, 2021 at 6:26 pm Reply

    My writing was spurred on by the opening stanza- “Like a fading piece of cloth. I am a failure”
    That line troubled me because my thoughts were in opposition to the poet’s. I see a fading piece of cloth as success. Fading happens through being used often, loved, serving others, living up to your purpose. It means you have lived to me. My writing wrestled with the differences in thoughts about fading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leigh Anne Eck May 7, 2021 at 8:42 pm Reply

      Cathy – thanks for writing with me. I also struggled with that first line or the idea of worn being a failure. But that last few lines help me, giving hope that the faded cloth found a new life in the quilt. It still reminds me of my mom and my mother-in-law simply because of their struggle of being wanted or important. Lots to think about!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Moege, Anne May 7, 2021 at 6:15 pm Reply

    No worries! I thought recognition was the next Sunday till I reread the bulletin! 😊

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