|Photo Credit: Morguefile by doctor_bob|
Every week, a new contrivance. Picture prompt. Mind map. Narrative. Fishbone. Hamburger essay. Substitute that word "run" for something more colorful! It does not always need to be "flew."
Ms. Adams, I have nothing to say.
Writing, it turns out, is not a given. Who knew? And, with 10,000 tricks up my sleeve, teaching the child who cannot spell or use correct grammar to write is often frustratingly slow. For my own part, I may as well teach them how to grow hair. How to convert oxygen in their cells. But I say I can do this and I damn well will. Once in a while, the light turns on and inspiration gleams. Then, no matter what I get, I will be pleased. But I have to wonder...
Why can I write?
Is it natural inclination? My eldest son could climb a tree almost as soon as he could walk. Gifted with quick-twitch muscle and ropy limbs, he was built to scale a tree. Is the art of writing as simple an act as that? I think I started writing when I was first old enough to move a pen, or could get an adult to sit in a chair and type. Perhaps there have been muses inside me writhing like so many maggoty, inspired worms, threatening to consume me if I do not retch them out onto a page. Perhaps I write because I can and always could.
Perhaps, instead, I was blessed by my family. Bathed in children's classics, read to day and night, I was given the works of Kipling, Carroll, Lindgren, and soon could read them on my own. I read like some children eat potato chips, in a room full of crumpled drawings and scattered scarves, laundry heaps and costumes—the library of a child. I spoke in antiquated sentences with grammar fallen out of fashion and vocabulary no one knew but the literary greats and I. Maybe writing in a household full of literature is like picking up a piano in the home of a concert musician, instruments scattered about. Growing up with Nickelodeon and structured afternoons, I might be someone else entirely.
But...why can I write?
Is it practice? How many words had I set on pages before my narratives made sense, before adjectives no longer smothered nouns in bosoms pillowy but let them say their piece? How many essays had I written before I let sentences die when they needed to be killed? How much work did I have to do to recognize I'd written crap again?
Day after day after day, I write. My voice alters, sometimes clear, more often garbled. I rarely have the luxury of editing as much as I would like, especially on a NaBloPoMo month. But I can write. Compared to a novice if not to a master, I can write.
And how to give that gift away?
Note: For a somewhat more glimmering view of my escapades in teaching writing, you might look at this. It makes me look way better.