Slice of Life Story Challenge March 13 - No Time To Be Reluctant
In this past week I have heard the term, ‘reluctant writers’ on at least three separate occasions. It’s a term that causes me to respond. I feel the need to challenge its use. I try to do it diplomatically of course, but I do challenge it, as I did this week.
When we talk of young writers in this way, we pull up way short of the mark. We need to ask why is this student behaving in this manner when it comes to writing?
Asking ‘why?’ is a key to finding out more about that particular young writer and hopefully what is inhibiting their enjoyment of writing.
Invariably what is impeding the writer from experiencing a stronger connection to the writing task is confidence- or rather a lack of it. And if you dig a little deeper it is frequently connected to a poor self perception in relation to spelling. It may also be the challenge presented by the physical task of writing due to a lack of a fluent writing style. Sometimes it is related to matters of sight or hearing.
For me, reluctant writers don’t exist. I have encountered a number of writers over the years who lacked confidence when it came to writing and therefore approached the task with trepidation. They wanted to participate in writing just as surely as their fellow writers. They merely lacked the confidence to launch themselves confidently into the great unknown.
Watch a toddler keenly make marks on paper with a marker or crayon. It comes quite naturally. They exhibit no inhibitions about the task of scribing. It’s natural and immediately rewarding.
Sadly something happens to many of these so called ‘reluctant’ writers. Something convinces them that this writing business is not for them. Messages and demands from adults usually conspire to make them believe that writing holds nothing that is desirable.They begin to opt out of the game as their confidence declines.
The real challenge is to change the pictures in their heads regarding writing. Rebuilding the self image of these damaged writers can be a slow, protracted process. It requires a large dose of support and acceptance for the efforts of the writer. We need to reach out a hand and we cannot under any circumstances be 'reluctant.'