"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." ~ Writer, Cyril Connolly
Up until I started blogging about a year ago the only real writing I did was for report cards. In Teacher's College I had to write a few papers but nothing that couldn't be done in a short period of time with a little bit of effort. In University my major of Human Kinetics didn't have any courses that required papers to write as other majors like History or Psychology. High School was more of a party for me so I can't say I remember learning much about writing. Although I must say I had 2 of the best English teachers you could hope for. My writing skills, or lack thereof, was in no way due to them. Since starting my Master in School Leadership I have been forced to write like never before. The more I write the more I have noticed about the way I write. Here are 3 things that have surprised me about my writing.
I write in chunks ~ What I mean is I write in chunks of time. It doesn't matter what I am writing, whether it is a short blog post or a 2000 word academic paper I have noticed that I will write for a short time then take a break. Like right now! You didn't notice but I got up and went to the kitchen and made a cup of tea. It's almost like I need some movement to get the thoughts flowing again.
I edit, a lot! ~ One draft is not enough for me. My last academic paper had me go through 6 revisions before I was comfortable submitting it. I have found the best way to improve my writing is to write a draft, print it and then revise with a pen or pencil by adding notes as I read aloud. Yes, reading aloud has changed my editing. It's amazing to see what I missed when I wasn't doing it. Here's a great link on why reading aloud is helpful, with some tips for using with your students.
The more I write, the easier it gets ~ This may seem like a cliche, but it really has worked for me. In the short time that I have been blogging I have noticed that the words flow a little easier from my head onto the page. The fingers are tapping the keys a little quicker and I get "stuck" less often.
Probably not earth shattering findings for many of you reading this blog, but for me these 3 things are signs that I'm learning something about myself everyday! I'd love to hear about your adventures in writing, or anything you are discovering about yourself as a learner.