Friday, October 23, 2009

What Does It Mean to Be a Writer?

I had the pleasure of visiting a 2nd grade class today to have an adventure with words and language. The kids were so much fun and so full of ideas and energy.

I started out by asking the kids if they knew what it meant to be a writer. Most of them said that writers write books or stories. Then we played with words for awhile...orally of course. After we were done, I asked the kids if people could be a writers if they only wrote one word.

Without any hesitation all of the kids said, "NO!"

Guess what I did next? Fortunately, this is a school where I can access my blog (I can't at many schools) so I pulled up the photo of the deer in the midst of a forest fire. Then I pulled up YOUR comments (thank you very much).

We went down the list and read your comments out loud. Then I asked the kids the same question, "Are these people writers?"

This time, without hesitation, each and every child said "YES!"

When I asked them why they changed their minds, the kids told me that your words described the photo or that they told a story. You should be impressed. I was.

Then I showed the kids a different photo (of my horse in the pasture) and told them to use one word to describe what they saw. Because of you, the kids had no reservations and were little creativity machines.

Thank you so much for writing with me and being a part of my school visit. When I talk about how writers inspire other writers, I'm not kidding. You just inspired 24 kids and their teacher! Next time I'll video tape the whole thing so you can see!

What does being a writer mean to you?


Kat said...

Your visit sounds like so much fun! Children are so amazing! I thank you for taking the time to teach. You are very special.

Marjie said...

My youngest is a pretty good writer, if I do say so myself. If you can let the ideas flow through your fingers, and string together coherent thoughts, you can write; it's then a matter of writing something that someone wants to read!

Carolyn said...

WOW! Amazing Jan! You inspired those kids; and to think I was in a second grade classroom in Ohio :>)

To me writing is thought transference, but without the telepathy. I just love words and harnessing them to my thoughts is great fun.

2cats said...

Glad to be of help, Jan. You have helped me more than you can possibly know.

Janet (Latte Lady) said...

I am so glad that you had fun! I think a lot more people would realize that they are writers if they could learn the lesson that those children learned!

Blessings Jan!!

Tweedles -- that's me... said...

I wish I could have been there with you!
Maybe next time? I would love to visit school kids. I bet we could share ideas!

Writing allows me to share.
The magic that I see and feel in my toes, is so exciting that I want to share it with everyone.
Writing helps me invite BELEIVERS into the world of make believe. My world.
Writing gives me the opportunity to be as free as the wind, and allows everyone to enter into the MAGIC with me. My mystical world.
Writing means I can take my magic paintbrush and paint the world, to be EXACTLY as I see it.

chicamom85 said...

You are so cool Jan and those kids were lucky to have you visiting them. You may never know the future writers you have inspired there.

Writing helps me to express feelings that I often hide. It helps to free me for as long as I am in that moment to imagine other places. I am allowed to explore the highest mountain, the darkest forest right from the safety of my home if I like. I am transformed and can become a beautiful fairy or a wicked witch. I live in an evil dark castle with thick bushes and no one can hurt me, no one would dare, not in my story. I can be whatever and whoever I want to be. Oh to be a writer, what a gift would that be.


Jan Mader said...

You ARE a writer. Do you know how many lives you touch...all of you!

Anne, Sailor, Jib, and Zoe said...

You are amazing and bring out the best in all the people you touch, Jan.

Being a writer to me is no different from being a painter, a sculptor, or a weaver. Language is my medium; words are my tools. I simply cannot NOT write; I've been writing since I was a child and discovered the power of mastery over words, the beauty and plasticity of our language, and most important of all, a creative outlet for expressing my thoughts and feelings.

I write funny stories, serious stories, happy poes, sad poems, non-fiction articles, silly doggerel - and all of it expresses ME, my best self, the person I want others to see.

Writing is intensely personal. I am a very private person and the act of giving of myself to my imagined readers is not easy. But it is a type of therapy for me. I can explore my feelings, my history, my quirks and fears. Through writing, I triumph every time.

Writing makes me a better person, wiser and more aware of my place in the universe. It soothes my heart, uplifts my soul, and reinforces my feelings of self-worth.

Writing is a spiritual quest, always new, always changing. Through the craft of writing, I have been given a gift: the opportunity to create, to share, and to love.

Suzanne Jones said...

The children were lucky to have you visit.


Dr Jenn said...

I agree the children were lucky to have you visit.

Writing means a lot to me. I have recently discovered that I am not the writer I once was or even thought I was today. Writing means an escape from reality (why I write Fiction) and an alter universe (I've created an entire solar system in the past) and a chore (now that I have a house to run, college to complete, kids to raise, and Doc to look after.... But writing still means a lot to me.

I love as much to read a good read or a well written piece that makes me stop and think. I like to read pieces that I have to break out the old dust covered dictionary and look up words.

SANDY said...

Awesome Jan, wouldn't it be cool if we could do the same sort of thing in Chrissy's classroom? A much different situation with kids; but I wonder.

I love that you were able to bring up your blog there at school, they must not have blockers? I assume from your note you can't at most schools that school;s have blockers so kids don't go astray on the net in places where they shouldn't be?

Super cool indeed.
The suitcase has been busy, you've not traveled lately, do come by.

ocmist said...

I LOVE watching children's minds work and "get it!" THAT was why I spent 18 years working in the school system.