Reading About Writing

I am currently reading Michael Morpurgo’s book, “Singing for Mrs Pettigrew in which the author outlines the journey he has taken as a story-maker. Morpurgo uses the text of various stories and essays to explain how and why he does things as a writer. He writes in the hope that this in-depth examination of his personal writing process will increase understanding of the storyteller’s craft. He writes about being a story maker:

“I am a grower of stories. I farm them as surely as a farmer does his corn. I am a weaver of dreams, a teller of tales. I have through my mother reading to me, through my own reading, through inspired teachers, through my great mentors, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ted Hughes and Sean Rafferty, through years of practice, discovered my way of doing it. Every writer’s way is unique, I am sure, though perhaps we all have much more in common than we believe.”

Singing For Mrs Pettigrew- A Story-maker’s Journey, Michael Morpurgo

Morpurgo weaves his stories and essays though-out the book to provide his readers with the story of his personal writing journey. So as well as the stories, we also experience the story of their making.

For those of us who feel a need to explore the writer’s process more deeply, this book provides a rich vein to explore. It allows a more profound reading experience to take place. It personally assists me to more fully appreciate my own story making journey.
Teachers of writing need to read. more than that, they need to read about writing. It is the fodder that leads to understanding the purpose behind writing. I am grateful to writers like Micheal Morpurgo who add to my knowledge of writing, as well as my personal writing processes. I feel less isolated in the task of teaching writing. I have writing mentors sitting on my shoulder as I go about this special responsibility. I am empowered. How comforting is that for any teacher?


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