Today was the middle school writing group. Maya and Kai were talking much more than usual. They were consulting each other on some writing piece....something that had happened to them over the weekend. At the end of class, during sharing time, Maya read us her story, a scary "stranger danger" type experience that had happened to her and Kai and some of their friends when they rode their bikes to the corner store. They told us they were going to work together to tell the same story from the different perspective of each of their friends. Maya had only gotten halfway through the telling, so we were eager for her to finish it next week.
As the students left class, Maya and Kai told me excitedly that when that scary thing had happened, the first thing they both decided was that they would write about it in writing class. "This would make a great story," they said to themselves, once it had all resolved.
The anticipation of writing about it was part of the experience for them. This stayed with me.
There is power in having time set aside to write. A scheduled time when you meet with yourself to write your thoughts and feelings and stories. There is power in seeing life with that fresh perspective that comes when you begin to know yourself as the main character of the story that is yours. I saw that empowerment in their eyes and heard it in their voices.
They have become writers.
Sarah Pemberton is a teacher, a writer, and the founder of Write Now!. Sarah lives in Portland, Oregon with her two daughters.