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a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Friday, March 11, 2011

Skype and Learn


What is more exciting as a reader than getting to meet the author of a book loved?  This is the premise of the latest reading intervention at my school.  I recently found this Skype an Author website.  So, I contacted a few authors, we bought some books, and invited some struggling readers in hopes of helping them see how meaningful it can be to connect with others through words on a page.

This morning, I started the day with a video call to Jennifer Bradbury (author of Shift) via Skype.  Is there a better way to begin a Friday morning?  I think not.   She shared with our group that she spends as much time planning a book as she spends writing a book.  Her goal is to get the planning done so that the first draft can be written quickly “to outrun those voices that say this probably isn’t very good.” 

It’s so true, isn’t it?  The more I look at a piece of writing, the more critical I am.  If I look at the piece of writing too much while I am in the midst of it, I will never complete it.  I think that is because it allows time for those nasty voices to sink in. This makes me think of those students who come up to me mid-draft and say, “Is this good?”  Those students are clearly looking to chase away the doubting voices.  We all need to shift those voices in our heads as we write from negative to positive!  The process of writing is good, no matter what the outcome.  Simply believe.

5 comments:

  1. How very exciting! I haven't been able to Skype an Author yet but am very excited at the possibilities. I love how you looked for authors available and then bought books...such a smart lady. ;)

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  2. Talking to an author and never leave the classroom, how cool is that? You just ended the week on an incredibly positive note. I try to avoid the voices in the head and go ahead and post anyway. Thank goodness for positive comments, keeps me coming back.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this information and for encouraging your students in this way. I love your phrase "chase away the doubting voices." Don't we all need to do this? Beautiful.

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  4. It's such a wonderful modeling you showed your students. What an experience! And thanks for telling it. I'll share with the rest of my colleagues.

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  5. Skype, YES! Our tech team Skyped with Donalyn Miller a few months ago. WE are so lucky to be able to connect here and yes, I love her advice...JUST WRITE! Do you know about the NaNoWriMo challenge every November? Check it out
    nanowrimo.com National Novel Writing Month!
    Bonnie

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