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I love teaching almost as much as I love writing. Each year I get to work with some incredible young writers as we write together during National Writing Month. I work with writers as young as second grade! It’s fabulous fun watching them try new things and bravely capture all their thoughts and ideas on paper. I love it!
I find middle school writers to be particularly interested in developing their craft. However, these writers are so often easily discouraged by teachers, parents and friends when the people around them don’t see the value in the hobby they have chosen. It’s often solitary work, that of a writer, and I think young people feel the pain of it more easily. They don’t want to be the weird one who would rather curl up with a good book than play soccer, or hide in a quiet spot with their writing notebook instead of play at recess. But, for those of us with this love of words burning in our hearts, we can’t deny it for long. Eventually we’re right back in that favorite place, scribbling furiously or reading as fast as we can stand.
All it takes to keep us going is a friend smiling good naturedly when they find us hiding with our journal, or a pat on the back from a teacher, a “good job” from mom or dad or favorite aunt. A little encouragement goes a long way. Some of these young writers will be the next great novelist or write a smash movie script, but most will just be really eloquent as they defend their doctoral dissertation or write an encouraging letter to a heartbroken friend. So, let’s cheer them on! Give them a smile when they chatter to you about their writing and then show them this blog. I hope to be the friendly voice who encourages them to keep trying, keep reading, keep writing.
If you know any young writers you want to encourage, please share my site with them, too. Hand them some paper and a pencil on Mondays when I post a writing exercise or ask them what they think about The Writer’s Life posts each Thursday. Challenge them to think, to read and, above all, to keep writing.
Gotta write, Heather