Aren’t We All Writers?

‘Aren’t we all writers?’I was asked this question only today in class. One of my students quite innocently asked the question in response to me getting them to think a little more about the concept of writing and how we approach writing, in this case, writing from the perspective of a character – I said in reply, “if you think that being able to pen some words on a page qualifies you as a writer, then I suppose you’re right, we are.” I let her think about it for a minute. I then asked her, so does that mean that everyone who has ever held a paintbrush or an instrument… does that make them an artist or a musician? She quickly told me in no uncertain terms- No! I asked her why, if I applied her logic from the writers comment, then surely because I pick up the odd paintbrush or belt out some scales and some tunes on a piano – then that must qualify me as an artist or a musician.
At this point, the students were almost out of their seats. Many arguing that no, just because I knew how to use a paintbrush or play scales, didn’t make me an artist or a musician. A couple of the students in the Philosophy class went a little further and talked about how it takes skill and experience and understanding the world to be a writer, artist or a musician. The debate ensued and we decided as a class, that artists, musicians and writers see the world differently. It’s why they are so good at what they do. They have the ability to capture something about the human experience that resonates with their respective audiences.
Amazing how all this stemmed from a conversation about a short piece of writing I had set for them a week ago and had since marked and was about to return to them.
I always tell my students they are writers and that they need to approach each task as a writer. I always assumed they knew what that meant but I feel that they know what it means. So today, after returning their work, I let them sit with their responses and reflect on the process of writing. Many admitted it wasn’t their best work and that they didn’t really try. Yes, the marks reflected their comments, as did my comments and feedback.
It’s interesting how when you preface a lesson with a question about writing, the varied responses. I told them that as writers, they have a responsibility to be the best that they can be, learning the craft and practising and never thinking that near enough is good enough. Every single word on the page is there for a reason. When you craft a character or are writing from the perspective of a character, you need to respect them. Respect their context and what they contribute to the narrative as a whole.


About acoure

English Coordinator and English teacher in Sydney. Believes in the power of education. Passionate about pedagogy, how students learn, curriculum design and learning spaces. I am keenly interested in finding out more about how teachers have adapted their pedagogy in a 1:1 environment. I am also eternally grateful for the inspirational educators I worked with in my formative years of teaching. They opened my eyes to the power of what a deep understanding of pedagogy can do to enhance the learning opportunities for students.
This entry was posted in learning, reflecting, students, teaching, writing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Aren’t We All Writers?

  1. Reed McNaughton says:

    Love this article – miss you “Adels”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s