If you want to be a writer, a better writer, the overwhelming advice from the experts is read. Visit the advice section of the blog or website of most authors and read is at the top of the tips list. Read whatever you can get your hands on: novels, newspapers, magazines, blogs, picture books, advertisements. Read like a writer. In Hidden Gems, author Katherine Bomer goes on to say it is the true secret to teaching how to write. Within every piece of text is a lesson for writers. She compares this notion to athletes gathered around game tapes of winning teams studying their plays. We gather our student writers around fine crafted texts, studying their expert moves.
Katherine also points out that this is how humans read the world, learning how to complete all sorts of tasks. As I read this, I thought about our recent home improvement projects. When you’re pondering color choices, you’re tuned in to hues and combinations that catch your eye. This mission is reflected in the current stack of magazines piled on my coffee table. Inspiration waits in fabrics, in bouquets of flowers, and along roadsides. When you are thinking about a new hair style, you check out coiffures. When you are a teacher of writing you notice the nuances of texts, wondering about the moves of the writer. When you are a teacher of writing, lessons are out there waiting for you to read them.