Off You Go, Find a Just-Right Spot!

Turbulence in the Writing Process

I had ambitious plans for writing while traveling. I buckled into my assigned seat – tucked between two strangers – unpacked my laptop and encountered a wave of challenges.

I froze at the thought of my writing process being visible to “the world.” What followed was the impossible reality that I had to stay in one position, both uncomfortable and unnatural. Without tools for alternating noisy and silent backgrounds, it was difficult to concentrate. Those whom I trusted feedback from, unreachable. This new writing habitat did not provide my needs, and I struggled to thrive.

I wondered if my kindergartners experienced similar roadblocks in their daily writing practice. Assigning seats, limiting noise and movement, and declaring writing a “no snack time” might have made for a more manageable independent writing time for me, but was it hindering engagement and joy in my young writers? Was I preventing kids from discovering writing positions and places that helped them feel creative and productive? Did they notice needs of their bodies and minds to re-energize? Positioned in opposite ends of the classroom from their friends, did they, too, feel isolated from support?

Curious, and motivated to make my writing workshop more kid-driven, I began the school year in a new territory, free from assigned seating.

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