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Writing With Passion and Heart | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Writing With Passion and Heart

For 10 years, I’ve tutored students in writing.  Using my own methods, I’ve never once met a reluctant writer who could not write.  I have met students so stilted by structured programs they struggle to complete a sentence.  What is the difference between my approach and theirs?

Writing programs that obsess with small building blocks to master focus so much on style that they forget substance.  As they focus so hard on the small parts, students lose their voice.  They may write well academically, but they will struggle a lifetime to write with their own voice.

Social media utterly transforms writing. For students today to succeed on platforms like Twitter in the future, the style-obsessed writing systems will build barriers that will make them less effective writers in new media.

What do I do instead? Go for the passion! What would a student write about for fun? Tap into that interest, and the writing will flow.  Not only will it flow for the writer, but it will be more interesting for the reader. 

Integrate writing into other school subjects so it’s more interesting than just writing for the sake of writing. Literature and history courses offer countless opportunities to practice writing.  You can write summaries, present arguments, develop character sketches, and compare/contrast countless people and topics.  Read good stuff. The better stuff you read, the better your writing will be.

It doesn’t stop with writing from the heart.  Be the editor after you are the writer. Review the writing for mechanics.  After the assignment is written, tweak word choice, sentence beginnings, and good grammar. If students worry too much about the best word choice and sentence beginning in the first draft, they forget the substance of what they are writing. Then their whole writing piece seems disjointed – just like the writing itself.

Don’t expect perfection on each piece.  Daily practice is more important in early years than crafting a perfect essay only once a week. Musicians practice daily, and the process of practice improves them over time.

The more a student writes, with breaks to tweak the grammar and mechanics, the better writer the student will become.

With social media, writing programs need to emphasize keeping a student’s unique voice. They need to learn academic writing which is 3rd person but also be able to write with 2nd and 1st persons.

Be who you are. Write who you are.

I write, therefore I am.

One Response to “Writing With Passion and Heart”

  1. Social Media Guru September 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I lately came across your blog and have been reading along. I imagine I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say, except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice site. I will keep visiting your site very frequently.

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