Seth Godin was once being interviewed and was asked this question: What is your actual writing process? He challenged the question by explaining that the writing process is irrelevant. No two successful writers write the same way, or use the same methods, or reach success in the same way.
Most of us would understand this and agree with it. And yet, we continue to show kids one way to write. We often force them to use pre-writing strategies such as completing graphic organizers or give them writing prompts to spark imagination.
What we really need to do is:
Give them time to write every day.
Give them time to write in their own way, in whatever method they feel comfortable.
Write about the things that they are interested in.
Let them write for and share with authentic audiences.
Give them time to write poorly before they write well.
No student ever becomes a great writer after they pre-write, write a first draft, revise and write their final draft. Great writing comes from writing a lot.
Let’s give our students the opportunity to write, and write some more, and write again, and then continue by writing. If they finish writing early, maybe even allow them to sneak in a little extra writing.
Writing is exactly the opportunity that our students need to develop as great writers.