Sunday, November 4, 2007

Talking to Students about Writing

Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to speak to the eighth grade classes at Windemere Middle School. The students were a terrific audience -- listening attentively as I read a story from my book, asking insightful and interesting questions, and volunteering when I asked them questions. They even made a banner welcoming me to their school!

Talking to students is one of my favorite things -- they never fail to inspire me with their passion, enthusiasm, and curiosity about life. I think it is an important thing for writers -- or anyone! -- to remember: what made you fall in love with your passion in the first place? Sometimes I get wrapped up in the tedium and solitude of writing and the constant struggle to revise and make my work better. But after talking to a classroom full of kids about my writing process and what I love about writing, it re-opens my own eyes to the wonder and magic of the written word.

At the beginning of my talk, I always ask the students: "How many of you like to write?" Usually, a few shy hands raise. At the end of my talk, I ask the same question, and usually a lot more hands raise -- my own hand included. Talking to kids about my writing journey reminds me how blessed I am to be doing something I truly love.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Write on!!! Love your newsletter and glad to see you bloggin, Dallas. I'm finding blogging more fun and useful in some ways the websiting (yep, I'm turning it into a verb!). The writers among your readers may want to find my blog at (-:
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Dallas said...

Thank you, Carolyn! And yes everyone should check out Carolyn's blog -- it's an incredible resource for readers and writers alike!