What kind of writer are you?
You must read how @terjeakke’s third grade students answered that question here on “Just for a month: A writing playground”
Three out of five of the students began with, “I am a ….. writer . . .”
Is that how you would answer the question?
What kind of writer are you?
Thinking of who I am today I can answer:
I am the kind of writer who likes time to formulate a thoughtful answer that does not wind around like a meandering old stage eroded river but more like a youthful river that flows straight from one point to another point.
I am the kind of writer who likes a clearly defined purpose. I am going to write a post about “x”. Those posts seem fairly effortless and seem to “write themselves” without a great deal of wailing and gnashing teeth!
I am the kind of writer who likes to think about my audience and pitch my writing to that audience. For example, this month when I am “slicing” daily with the March Challenge from The Two Writing Teachers, I know that my audience is my regular readers plus possibilities from the 300+ “slicers”. That narrows my focus a bunch! (Warning: some days my audience is myself!)
I am working hard to be the kind of writer who can take a topic and respond to that topic within a reasonable time frame (less than an hour). This is a huge shift for someone who used to draft every post in Word days in advance of posting them onto WordPress (OCD). This is also due to “guilt” for all of those weeks that I required special ed. students to think for one minute and then write for three minutes about “….” And then I recorded correct letter sequences, words written, and words written correctly (CLS, WW, WWC). Now I cringe at the thought of recording any of those items after a three minute think time for a student who is struggling with learning. It’s not about “who” finishes first, but it is about working at multiple rates over time so sometimes I need to write more like the rate of the hare and other days the rate of the tortoise is okay!
I am the kind of writer who likes a challenge. I love generative writing. I love to play with sentence development and using a word as different parts of speech or in different locations in a sentence is FUN because my work is unique and not the same as everyone else’s! I think power writing is also FUN because I like to challenge myself to increase my own writing stamina just as the students are expected to do! I think it’s important to embrace the fact that writing can take many formats and can sometimes focus on the product and sometimes focus on the process. It’s still the same elephant – our perspective and that point of intersection with the elephant at that specific moment does matter.
I am the kind of writer who loves informational/explanatory writing. I can now write credible persuasive/arguments and narratives but they are not my “go to” choice of writing. When they turn out well, it is usually due to time to plan, reflect, collaborate, rehearse and revise long before I put my fingers on the keyboard.
I am a keyboard composer. Sometimes the music of the keys lulls me into a sense of complacency as sentences follow each other effortlessly across the screen. At other times, I correct and correct and correct and even pound on the keys until the print has been bled dry of any emotion or remotely interesting trivial source of entertainment!
I am a writer who has written for decades, more than half a century. But I am not comfortable saying that I am anything above an average writer. Sometimes I have flashes of “bright spots in writing” and sometimes I have days and days of writing that should not ever be imitated. Writing still requires thought and even improves over time when my thoughts are either rehearsed or revised during long stretches of driving time.
I am a writer who loves to revise . . .to nitpick my word choice until I believe that I have found the most appropriate word, structure, comparison or even metaphor. I am an ever-evolving, ever improving, ever stretching writer as I push myself to go beyond initial expectations and find the heart! I am a teacher of writers who also believes that I must be a writer myself, before I can ever teach writers!
I.am.a.writer.because.I.read. Writing is one way to process my reading by adding internal thoughts or by sharing it “aloud”. I am also now a writer who likes to “slice” daily during the month of March and annually on Tuesdays with friends!
What kind of writer are you?
Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work. So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!
Love this –you are all these things and more. I am not sure how I would answer the question… but it might be fun to give it a go! Thank you.
You are welcome, Clare.
I will be the first to admit that some of my answers surprised me when I just wrote words without explanations. But as the explanations wrote themselves, I found myself saying, “Yes, that is ME!”
I could never have answered this in third grade so I’m excited that new generations of kids do view themselves as WRITERS! ❤
I was amazed at the responses Terje’s students were able to give. Of course, my teachers would never have asked me that question, because we didn’t write for any purpose except to answer questions on worksheets. It took me many years of slicing for me to say “Yes, I am a writer.” You are an inspiring writer.
Your comments last year during my first March slicing challenge helped me meet my goal of slicing every day! I appreciate your willingness to share and inspire as well – mutual admiration here!!!
(and yes, we answered those worksheet questions with complete sentences and capitalization and punctuation – BORING!)
I love that your post really took me through your writing process as you describe the types of writers that you are. You begin with formulating thoughts and finding a purpose and audience before later moving to why are are a writer.
AHH! I did not notice that . . . and I did NOT rearrange / reorder any of those ideas. Explanation/description first and then the WHY! Hmmmm. . . that would be ME! Thanks for adding to my picture of me as a writer!
Loved your reflection. You know yourself well and express your thoughts so eloquently. I found poetry in your writing.
Thank you so much for the inspiration and the kind words! I love poetry as long as I really don’t have to count my syllables (out, out, iambic pentameter!)
“I am an ever-evolving, ever improving, ever stretching writer as I push myself to go beyond initial expectations and find the heart!” This is the heart of your post for me, Fran. Without this growth-mindset, our accomplishments would be few. Now you and Terje have me thinking…
Good morning, Catherine! So nice to meet you over my morning cup of coffee!
YES! It’s all about the growth. We can all be writers but it takes work and nurturing and that also takes TIME! So it’s a bit like “If you give a mouse a cookie. . .” as a cycle in order for this to play out for students!
See you in TWO days!
I loved reading your answers to this question and I LOVED how you used my OLW stretch so often. I’ll have to come back and revisit this post in preparation for my first “stretch” reflection of the year, coming up next week. Elsie’s comments mentored me too. We actually won a prize together my first year of slicing. And I’m jealous that you’ll be seeing slicer friends on Saturday. I can’t wait to read the slices after your gathering.
We will miss your Washington representation Saturday! It will be a crazy, fast-paced weekend but so much learning and laughter and TALK!
Love your OLW “stretch”. I will be working hard to focus this weekend. Yikes, the next 33 hours before leaving!
Thanks for commenting and slicing!
This really does make me think. I have enjoyed reading your posts this month and, yes, all of the characteristics yon mention are evident in your writings.
I would have to characterize myself as a late blooming writer (starting when I went through our Writing Project’s Summer Institute). Until then I didn’t consider myself a writer. Sometimes when I am having difficulty coming up with an idea for these posts I still wonder about my writing ability.
I still have many days that I wonder about my writing ability and I hold my work up to a rubric often. Sometimes that’s the kick in the rear to make it better; sometimes that’s when the “reflection” really hurts! Can’t get better without writing!
And thanks for your thoughtfulness. I had not thought about those being things that you could see in my writing! 🙂
I am really enjoying reading these. I like to think and compose in my head before I write, so I haven’t written my own yet. I think I will, if I can get it started in my head.
I agree with “starting in my head” – It doesn’t have to be the “beginning” but writing seems so much easier when there is an idea in my head!
What a reflective post! I love the last one- you are a writer because you read! How true is that? Thanks for sharing. You’ve got me thinking about what kind of writer I am. 🙂
I no longer can imagine reading without writing and vice versa – totally symbiotic!
Catherine’s quote is perfect! You have answered this so thoughtfully. That is the kind of writer you are. Writing is such a personal thing, such a reflection of who we are right now. I love the power of this kind of reflection. A personal assessment of where we are on our journey.
Writing is such a “reflection of who we are right now” – so very true!
See you soon, my friend!
I love the comprehensive look you took at your writing self – the way you considered each angle. I tend to be the percolating kid of writer – an idea emerges, and then sits around in my conscious thinking for a bit, then, when I write, it flows. But your post is inspiring me to think a bit more about how what I do “fits” together. So glad that Catherine highlighted that bit – it was my favorite, too.
I live in fear that I won’t get writing figured out and that a great deal of time for practice has passed me by. Sometimes that urgency (or frenetic pace when OCD kicks in) leaves me hanging!
I love that idea of percolating – perfect description for some days. Other days, it can be like volcanic eruption and still other days, like the annoying dripping faucet – one word at a time! I will never ever again say, “Just write”. Now I know to say, “What could you write about?” and I love asking/modeling how to have topics ideas “on deck” for writing – just like my TBR pile for reading!
This was fun to read and compare my writing self to you. I am a keyboard composer. I am getting better about getting faster with my slices. I do a lot of composing in my head before I even touch the keyboard. I want to try asking this of some students I know. What a great question!
I love comparisons.
I can’t wait to ask some students as well! Looking forward to their responses!
I liked the “I am a keyboard composer” part. Something about that metaphor makes me smile – thinking of you conducting a symphonic post at your keyboard. Thank you for sharing all you know about yourself as a writer. Your commitment to writing and growth is evident.
I’m a musician “wanna-be” so I would probably be conducting the marching band at a football game – Totally my venue!
I’ll be playing sax!
[…] then I searched my own posts and found a slice from last year that also answered the same question here. But I wanted a clean, crisp “pattern” so I started writing with a bit of Seuss or […]