Why Write?

This morning I opened the paper and this was the front page story.

I’m calmer now than I was at 8:30 AM when I read it. And because I didn’t write anything in that moment, the passion I felt about the complete farce of a story the World-Herald published is gone.

Which is really part of the point the article makes: assessing writing the way we do is artificial. Giving students a prompt scrubbed of racial, gender, or social class bias on a random Tuesday and asking them to write for 90 minutes does not provide them with a real-world opportunity to practice writing. As I read the article this morning, I simultaneously composed a letter to the editor and a blog post. I crafted arguments and analyzed those arguments…and then I went to church and all my ideas faded.

I’m sure I could reconstruct the arguments and indignation I felt this morning, but it wouldn’t have the same impact because my “voice” would be a bit muted.

So what are “real-world opportunities” for writing? For me, that becomes one of the exciting questions I will explore this summer as I tweak my lesson plans. But I need ideas, starting points.

Why do you write? Even if you don’t identify as a writer, I’m sure you’ve written something since high school or college. Please share!

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