Email: The Power of Finding Readers
I am so excited about what you are doing with Brave Writer. Such a wealth of insight, knowlege and experience! Thank you for offering this. You have really kept me motivated and hopeful in trying to make writing a part of our lifestyle.
I also wanted to share a success with you. My daughter participated in one of your reluctant writers online courses. (Rachel taught our session–wonderful teacher.) We’ve been writing sporadically since, but haven’t given up.Â We’ve been co-oping with four other families around art this past year and halfÂ with one meeting time each semester set aside for a writing “share day.” Several of the families have The Writer’s Jungle and we wanted to give our kids the opportunity to “publish” their writing as you suggest in the curriculum. It is an open forum with participants ranging in age from 8 to 13 (my daughter). We’ve had everything from book reports to excerpts from a student’s novel. The kids have all been very enthusiastic about sharing their writing. We always give positive feedback at the end and you can see the connection it makes for the kids that what and how they choose to say something really can mean something for others.
I saw several of your principles come together in the process of my daughter’s most recent piece.Â I had told her a “share day” was coming up in about a month and that I’d like her to be thinking about a topic. I suggested we could do a list and then funnel if she wanted, but gave her time just to ponder on her own first. Some time later, we were sitting in the lounge of our ballet academy during a Nutcracker rehearsal when she sat up straight and announced that she knew what she wanted to write about. Thankfully she had a journal with her (she journals about dance regularly) and began writing with abandon. :)Â
She had the core written in a couple of days with editing and proofing taking very little time. She was surprised at how easily it came (I was delighted!)Â Â “Saturation” and “Incubation” allowed her to write with confidence.Â Â I will admit to still struggling a bit with editing. I want to encourage maturity in her writing, but don’t want it to become my piece and not hers. So I tried just to focus onÂ looking for those “flashes of insight” and words that really communicate feeling. The result was “The Mouse Trap.”Â I was so thrilled with the process itself and pleased with the piece itself, but the whole experience was capped off by the share day. A couple of the moms had tears in their eyes when Sara was done reading. She had connected with the “reader” in a meaningful way! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
(I have posted her piece to the Scratch Pad for those who’d like to read it.)
Thanks again, Julie for all your work on our behalf.