Wednesday, June 2, 2010


After a couple of good writing weeks, I've begun to wriggle in the chair upon which I dutifully sit to write each day. I have been THINKING (yeah, I know) about how my new story relates to AUDITION and wondering, do I dare stick with verse or should I tell it in prose? What is the best form for this particular character and her unique narrative? Should I take a quick break and go thaw some chicken so my kids can eat tonight? So many questions were tangled in my head this morning that even the prospect of watching my DVR recording of GLEE later on did not cheer me (and yes, I like the picture because I kind of do feel like Coach Sue is pounding on my skull).

Luckily, midmorning on Wednesdays, I have to leave my computer to teach "Literary Magazine" to a third-grade class. Admittedly, I was dragging my feet today, feeling like I have nothing to teach anyone about writing today. But they were waiting for me.

We've been writing all year. The last few weeks, the kids selected and revised their best stories and poems. Today, they became editors, choosing a title, organizational structure and look for their magazine. I let them take charge and the kids leapt into gear. Leaders emerged. Brainstorm sessions took place, followed by lots of voting! They were working so hard they literally ignored the ringing lunch bell. 

I couldn't stop grinning. The kids were so empowered, so excited to be close to seeing their words in print, that their joy was contagious. And I realized something. I have been so anxious about sticking to my writing schedule, about getting my work done and not letting myself be distracted, that I'm not sure I've allowed myself enough time to just relax and enjoy the prospect of seeing AUDITION between covers. To be happy. To feel and not THINK.

The kids named their magazine, "Stories Off the Page." And, right now, I'm just going to feel proud of them for a little while!


Unknown said...

Well even though this morning you dragged your feet into the classroom I think you left satisified and proud. I guess even though sometimes we don't want to do things they end up rewarding us in the end!

What a great experience to teach such young students the art of writing, I think that is empowering in itself! They did a great job naming their magazine and I love the enthusiasm behind it! It gave me the inspiration I needed for the day!

Happy Wednesday!

Laura S. said...

Wow, that sounds awesome! I remember writing a lot in elementary school, but I don't think we ever made our own literary magazine as a class. That's wonderful of you to do that! Great title, too. :)

JEM said...

Sounds great, way to empower them!