I am a technically good writer. By this, I mean that I am good at writing correct papers. I have a thing for grammar and a love for words, a feeling to which I’m sure everyone in this course can relate. I enjoy writing literary analysis papers, which is probably a good thing since I spent three and half years of my undergrad career doing exactly that. I also took a few courses in creative writing: personal essay, an honors course on memoir writing, and travel writing. Each of these classes tested me as a writer, and I enjoyed the push to write; I realized I had more to write about than I could have imagined. But I am a reluctant writer. That is not to say that I do not enjoy writing, as I do enjoy the process, but I find myself wondering whether I have any stories left to tell.
To be honest, since my college graduation in May 2010, I have not written for myself at all, that I can recall. I have written papers and reflections for summer classes; grocery lists; reminders to myself; birthday cards; emails; personal letters; wedding thank yous; Facebook posts. For me, beginning this class is like swimming on a cool summer day – I want to jump into the pool to acclimate myself as quickly as possible, knowing that after the brief discomfort, I will enjoy the experience. But I find myself dipping in one toe at a time, unsure of myself. Reading Fletcher’s What a Writer Needs, I am reminded how much easier it is to write when you do so on a regular basis. Daily journals in my creative writing classes, even with the oftentimes prescribed topics, forced me to jump into the pool. I need to acclimate again.
In Fletcher’s book, “Chapter 11: A Playfulness with Time,” he points out the importance of consistency and how it is perhaps a writer’s most essential habit. While the consistency (and inconsistency) of writing is something I have personally dealt with, it is one of those times where what should be immediately apparent needs a big blinking orange sign before I can see it clearly. Based upon my own experience, and also after reflecting on Fletcher’s advice, I realize that my English classroom needs consistent time for students to write. I have no real sense yet of how I will implement the writing process in my classroom, but of course that is why I am here.