Monday, July 1, 2013

The Writing Process and Projectile Vomiting

Hi there.  You probably know all about projectile vomiting at this point in your life.  If not, YouTube will help you visualize that concept.

Don't you just get all cranky when you give children a writing activity to complete, and some of those whipper snappers think that their ideas flow from their brain to their hand with the speed of an involuntary airborne stream of baby formula?  Makes me want to give those kids thick mittens and nubby crayons to slow down the process.

In all fairness, I sanction the "projectile vomiting approach" to brainstorming or short bursts of timed writings.  It has its place in the writing process, but turning in such impromptu musings for a final product is, how can I put this, nauseating.

Sometimes I ask my students to pretend that their favorite authors are in the room responding to the same prompt.  "Trust me," I say.  "Imaginary Stephen King is still drafting.  He's not even on his final."

I'm not a big fan of quotations.  They make my eyes roll with their pat simplicity in explaining complex matters...unless...they are just so true.  I'm sure I've mentioned this one before, but it bears repeating.   It also bears being stenciled on the wall of every language arts classroom.

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult 

than it is for other people.” Thomas Mann

Ain't that the truth?  We didn't go to college to teach Knee-Jerk 101.  That class can teach itsownself!  

Craft your language, people.  If it took me longer to write the prompt on the board than it did for you to write your response, dig back in.


No comments:

Post a Comment