Slice of Life 25: Are you in the pool?

(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

I had my Bartlett’s out yesterday looking for quotes about writing.  I was hoping to find the source of “Teachers of writing need to write!”  Is there a single author that has been attributed to?

Instead I lingered over some of these quotes and actually added and tagged them in Evernote.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway


“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”
—Peter Handke


“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.”
—Joyce Carol Oates, WD


“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD


“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD


“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”
—Robert A. Heinlein


“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll

I began this blog because I felt very strongly that as a teacher of writing, I needed to be writing. I needed to feel both the joy and the pressure of writing published for the world with that nagging voice, “Is this good enough?”  Will anyone read this?”

Blogs that spoke to me on this same message yesterday included:

  • Our real power – Authentic Writing  – Dana Murphy from Two Writing Teachers (You have to read this one as no summary will do it justice!)
  • To Be a Writer, You Only Need to Do Two Things by Joe Bunting       (and those two are – 1. Write your story.   2. Share your story with the world.)
  • And these quotes from Shana Frazin’s presentation Tips for Conferring with Writers at #TCRWP’s Saturday Spring Reunion –   “Tip No. 1 You gotta get in the pool if you wanna swim.”  “in other words, in order to teach writing, you need to do some writing. (The quote that began my search!)


Have you written your story?

Have you shared with your teachers and your students?  The World?


13 responses

  1. Thanks for sharing these quotes and these questions. Like you, I felt like I needed to practice what I preach. This has truly been a challenge. It’s not so much the daily writing, it’s the posting for the world (or 2 or 3 people) to see. I know some of what I posted has not been great, but I’ll have a month of drafts to work from!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I love your idea of drafts to work from! I often have a “sinking feeling” when I push that “Publish” button . . . because I often think of something that I wish I had added!

  2. There’s a huge difference teaching writers and assigning writing. Too many teachers are teaching writing through assignments, not teaching writers. Makes me sad for the students. Great quotes!

    1. Thanks!

      I just couldn’t cut any of them before I posted this morning. I love learning from “writers” and am still working on being a writer myself.

      I see so many “do as I say” assignments. Teaching writing is sooooo important!

  3. Great quotes Fran. All good advice. I feel like I am just at the beginning of understanding this writing thing and I’ve been “teaching” writing for 12 years. Finally I’m getting wet, and have to wash my hand frequently!

    1. Okay, I feel old. I have been teaching writing for more than 20 years and I feel like I am in up to my waist with constant hand wringing and washing!


  4. NONE of my colleagues write, and they all teach writing! It drives me crazy. Sigh.

    1. It’s not easy but I do appreciate that my teachers using the units are writing demos. They had PD time specifically to work on those and I think they were even surprised by how different their own examples were.

      Maybe a beginning step is to give them time to read blogs as well. . . hmm. . . more thinking required there! Assigning time to read TWT may be in the future! 🙂

  5. Love these quotes, Fran! I absolutely agree that teachers of writing need to write! How else can we help kids if we aren’t “apprentices” of the craft ourselves? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Catherine.

      And that is so true! It is hard to be help/understand kids if we are not apprentices ourselves!

  6. Thanks for sharing these quotes. I think the one about teachers needing to write is by Don Graves or Don Murray.

    1. Thanks, Carol.
      I was sure that “someone’s” name would be attached to that quote but maybe it has been used for so long that the original source is “hazy” or “forgotten.” (Not that I would have any memory losses!)

      I have some that are similar by Don Graves!

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