What I know about writing, I learned in school. Maybe not in textbooks, but in workshops and in those late-night hours when you call someone up to ask them if the title of your poem makes any sense. Teaching writing ends up being the facilitating of creativity—a gentle nudge in the right direction and a push towards creativity. I believe that this kind of teaching involves creating a platform and a space where readers and writers can trust each other, and that through this trust, something great can be molded together. This is because writing isn’t a solo act. Writing is the beginning of a conversation that starts something greater.
I my eyes, it comes down to effective writing, not “good writing” to convey a message clear enough for a conversation to occur. If the water is too muddled, then the writer’s point will not come across to the reader, leading the reader lost in unclear writing and empty words. I think to be a writer you need to write. It is probably as simple as that. I think when people make these ideas more complicated than it needs to be is when the true meaning of things get lost.
Do I believe that everyone who writes is a writer? Mostly. Do I believe that everyone who writes can be a writer? Without a doubt, yes. There is no one way that a writer can look like. A writer isn’t strictly someone who wakes up in the morning, writes 100 pages, thinks only about writing, then goes to be only to repeat it all the next day. It is only through trying to be an idealistic writer that I have found that she (or he) doesn’t exist.
I hope to relay that message in my classroom—things do not have to be done in one way. It is through the individual experience, thoughts, feelings, and actions that make writing unique and fun. I want students to know and believe that writing does not have to be a stressful act. It can be whatever you want it to be. I hope to illuminate the idea of writing for students, especially those who fear that they don’t have anything to say, or that they won’t say it in the “right way”. There is no “right way” to do anything creative. Yes, there are tools and things to keep in mind when you are working to improve, but they should not stand in your way.
Writing is for everyone.