Writing is something I do. Writer is something I am. It’s not a hat that I put on and take off, nor is it an identity compartmentalized in my mind by a schedule.
I think like a writer.
Ideas pop in each day, inspired by a conversation, an article, a noticing during a walk, a self-reflection. My inner dialogue is taken over by my writing voice, like music, stringing together words before releasing them.
I lean on writing.
It’s easier for me to write my feelings than verbally express them. I like taking the time to be thoughtful with my words. I love making lists and plans, sketching ideas before creating.
I heal through writing.
As someone who holds onto things that happen, things that are said, I have learned to practice the art of letting go. The most powerful releases I’ve had have been a result of writing.
Yes, there are certain times of each day designated to “stop everything and write!” but I never quite turn off the part of me that is a writer.
We schedule “stop everything and write” time each day in our classrooms. Time to do the writing. But the time to nurture writers cannot be scheduled. It must be embedded in the culture of our classrooms. If we want our kids to think like and lean on and heal with writing, we first need to model it ourselves. By doing so, we are extending an invitation for kids who write to become kids who are writers.
When writing is integrated in the classroom environment, in our conversations, and in our tools, writers will emerge.