I went to school before the days of writing prompts. I went to school when you had to write research papers. Those research papers required a trip to the library and copious note cards. Rules like, "If you have an A you have to have a B. If you have a 1, you have to have a 2." still ring in my head.
I had a mom who insisted I "needed more light" when I was reading. She also said we couldn't do our homework with the TV on.
I have done research on learning styles. Kinesthetic, Visual, Auditory.
I've been thinking this month about my writing process. What do I need to be able to write? This is the first year that no major event is occurring or has occurred during this month and I am struggling every day to write.
I have discovered:
*I can't have music because music without words annoys me and I love to sing. If I have music, I end up singing instead of writing.
* I can have the TV on, but it either has to be something I don't care about or down low.
*I can't have absolute silence because then every sound is distracting.
* I have a hard time writing (or reading) when there are other people around because I get interrupted and then it is hard to pick up any flow I may have achieved.
* I probably could write at the table in "writers position," but I prefer the couch with my laptop.
* I prefer to write at night because I feel writing is about reflection and I can't reflect on what has not yet happened.
* I would write better to a prompt because I was an English Major and writing is what English Majors do. But then it is about a certain genre, topic, book, theory, while this... blog writing... is about me. What thoughts or observations warrant a blog and not a diary?
I love that my boys had writers workshop when they were in school. Then they had a mixture of prompts and free writes. They usually wrote within a certain genre but could write what they wanted. Our district no longer does this, and it makes me worry about the kids in class today. They may be able to write to a writing prompt, but will they be able to write their heart? They will be able to compare a fiction work to its non-fiction counter part, but will they be able to write their own story?
Will they be able to go beyond the question being asked?
And most important of all -- Will they be able to ask the question and then seek answers just because they want to know the answers?