“There is no way we can tell what our students will need to write in their lives beyond the classroom, but we can give our students a successful experience in the writing process. We can let them discover how writing finds its own meaning” -Don Murray
In an attempt to deepen my understanding of the writing process, I purchased The Essential Don Murray: Lessons From America’s Greatest Writing Teacher. Since he’s known for possessing one of the most thorough understanding of the writing process, I figured it would be worth while to read some of his thoughts/research.
So far I’m half way through and all I can say is wow. This is easily the clearest explanation of the writing process that I’ve ever read. Don goes into detail about what happens to us when we write. He defends many things that are frowned upon in school such as procrastination or staring out the window, explaining how beneficial they can be for a writer. I can already tell that I’ll need to read this a few more times and keep it as a reference.
One thing that really stuck out to me is the daybook that Don kept. It was essentially a notebook that followed him everywhere he went. He would record his thoughts, regardless of how sporadic. Don refers to it as his laboratory, a place where he could experiment. He encouraged every writer to have their own daybook, so starting today, I’ve decided to start my own. I’ve kept many notebooks in the past with my thoughts and ideas but I haven’t carried one around with me wherever I go.
I’m not sure of what I’ll record in it. Much like my 30 day blog experiment, I’m going to take it one day at a time. I’ve decided to get up 15 minutes earlier each morning so I can sit for those 15 minutes and attempt to write. My daybook will be where I’ll keep these 15 minute sessions. If I’m going to become a better writing teacher, I need to write everyday and pay close attention to what I do as I write.