Scribendo disces scriber. “You learn to write by writing.” --Samuel Johnson
Updated: Jun 18
By Wilma Davidson, Ed.D, Pen Woman in Letters
To a three-year-old, a crayon in hand is pure power and enjoyment. Eagerly and effortlessly, that child scribbles away. Yet, by the time that child is an adult and the crayon is replaced by pen, pencil or keyboard, the sight of a blank page or blank screen is likely to provoke terror and helplessness.
How did this relationship making marks on a page—the earliest form of writing—turn toxic? Perhaps the moment writing became associated with being graded and judged by well-intentioned teachers who did not encourage experimentation and mistake-making. It’s no wonder many of us began to hate writing or suffered writer’s block.
The goal of this blog is to let you struggling writers know that while writing well is often challenging, it can just as often be comfortable. Rediscovering that will help you once again write effortlessly and eagerly.
You’ll find you can regain that childhood sense of power and ease if you keep in mind three essential premises about how writing is best learned:
1. We learn to write by writing, often by playful practice.
2. We learn to write by discussing our writing with others, by trying it out and getting good feedback.
3. We learn to write by granting ourselves permission to grope uncomfortably, even chaotically, for a time—without fear of reprisal. Write. Read. Mess up, Try Again. The chaos is part of the process. So, too, is trusting it.
Your “can-do” attitude goes a long way.
Wilma Davidson, Ed.D
President and Letters Member
NLAPW - Sarasota Branch