A Teacher That Writes
For years, I taught writing, encouraging students with phrases like, “Don’t be afraid!” “Let your voice be heard!” or “We learn from our mistakes!” In my mind, I really meant what I said, after all, they are students, and children. Mistakes wouldn’t make or break them with the environment I created for them.
On the other hand, I am an adult and mistakes will be noticed in my writing. Lord knows students and colleagues love to point out typos in PowerPoint slides. I always spin it as, “I was just checking to see if you were paying attention.” Truth is, it doesn’t bother me to make mistakes in front of my student audience.
In front of the “real world” however, I was petrified. In the beginning years of teaching, I held back my opinions, my frustrations, my joy and experiences. Feeling inadequate next to my peers, I settled for reading and digesting the stories of others. I felt like a “consumer” instead of a contributor or supplier so to speak
While it is true that reading is a necessity for becoming a better writer, Anyone seeking improvement in their writing skills also WRITES! I have read a lot of Medium articles lately (like this article by Tom Kuegler or this article by Luke Rowley) encouraging writers to GO FOR IT. Throw caution to the wind and speak your mind. I am taking this to heart and making it my resolution for 2019.
Writing tips that have worked for me so far include:
–Starting small (no topic is off limits): Some of my best articles are on simple topics like my dog’s behaviour.
–Set up a writing routine: I have set a designated writing time every day so that I routinely get better at my craft.
For me it’s not so much about the number of followers I have, the claps/likes that I earn or how many views my stats show. It’s about practicing what I preach and to fearlessly put my thoughts in front of the world. To my surprise, I have found nothing but a loving group of readers who are eager to comment and thoughtfully give advice.
Putting your voice out there can be very rewarding. For example, readers reward you by taking the time out of their day to read what you have to say; not only that, they brew up some detailed responses because they actually digested your stories and enjoy reading your experiences.
So what are you waiting for? The blank page awaits! I can truly back my words now when I tell you, “Don’t be afraid!” “Let your voice be heard!” The key is to start small, set up a routine and don’t agonize over the little things.