Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Teacher as Writer
by Tricia Maslowski

What if I have what THEY call writer's block every single day?!
"Don't worry," THEY tell me. "You will do fine. Many of these people say they are writers, but this doesn't mean they are GOOD writers."

Easy for YOU to say – you are one of them. How do I decide what to write about? How do I choose the words to express myself? What if I have what THEY call writer's block every single day?!

I have to do WHAT?! A Writing Marathon? How the hell do you expect me to write about what ever I want for three hours?! THEY are sending emails expressing how they can't wait for the big day! How they have been looking forward to this event for weeks. I don't understand the jubilation in going away from the classroom and writing. How is this going to help ME?

Well, here I am sitting at an outdoor cafĂ© in Ann Arbor—my new blank notebook in one hand and blue ink pen in the other. THEY are all scribbling away. I wonder what they are writing about. Probably chapters for their novels and deep analytical poetry that makes one think about the world we live in today. Mmmmm . . . the rules said to just WRITE. Ok, I'll write.

Hey, we are moving to the next location already? I have been writing for 45 minutes now? This isn't so bad. Some ideas came to me. Not huge ones, but it was something. I hope we hurry up and get to the park that THEY thought would be a good location. I like parks. At least I can sit and enjoy the beautiful weather. An idea! I wonder how this will sound?

Time is up? The Marathon is over? We have to leave? But wait, I'm not finished! I need some more time to write. You only gave me three hours!! (Not nearly enough time to complete this piece).