Write to Learn

The final three days of February sent me to a lake resort in the middle of my state for the Write to Learn conference. At one time the title of this conference made me tremble in my boots. Write? I’m okay with the learning part, but writing, that’s hard. I’m not a writer. I’m a listener, a reader, a synthesizer of information, but I’m not a writer.

That was my thinking before. Before I started reading Two Writing Teachers.  Before I was encouraged by Ruth Ayres posts begging the readers to jump into the blog world. Before I dipped my toe into writing weekly, then daily for a month.

That was five years ago, now I realize I am a writer. So writing to learn doesn’t make me tremble anymore. I see it as a challenge to create now. I eagerly anticipated the opportunity to spend and entire day with Rose Cappelli and Lynne Dorfman. I knew they would teach me new ways of looking at mentor texts and using those texts to raise the level of my writing. I was not disappointed.

The day flew by. We studied mentor texts. Then we had the gift of time to try it out. Here is one example I jotted in my notebook.

Pans clattering in the kitchen, as the smells filled the air, while family arrives, greetings and hugs, before finding their place at the table. Prayers of thanks offered. Silence.

Rose and Lynne became friends during those days of the conference, not just authors of books I own.

Friends, Rose Capelli and Lynne Dorfman.

Friends, Rose Cappelli and Lynne Dorfman.

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27 thoughts on “Write to Learn

  1. I love the sentence you wrote, starting with the cluster of phrases in a string and then ending on that one powerful group of words. A writer indeed!

  2. You are a writer! Absolutely you are. You enjoy the swirl and swing of words and know how their nuanced differences create alternate worlds. You know, with specificity, the impact of even the tiniest utterance. You are a writer! And, how awesome to learn from the mentor text gurus!!!

  3. As others have been saying…yes, you are a writer….but your perception, positive attitude, and love of life brings out the best in your writing and connects with others. Glad to be back slicing.

  4. I look forward to your blog post every day– of course you’re a writer! Also, I loved how you changed the color of & put in bold the “am” and the “not.” Not only did it make it more meaningful, but it also looks very pretty 🙂

  5. You are not only a writer, you are a gifted writer. I love to read your stories because they always make me smile and sometimes they even make laugh. Do I see the words speaker on your name tag? Did you leave out a part of this slice?

  6. beachhousefarmhouse says:

    I love your slices Elsie. I am glad you are a writer, I enjoy what you share and I learn from you too. I wish we had all of those wonderful conferences here that you get to attend. It would be great sit in a room alongside other slicers and learn with you. 🙂

  7. Judy C. says:

    What better place than here at TWT to share your writing. I always look forward to receiving that e-mail that says Elsie has written a slice. I’m glad that you decided to continue with this challenge. I never thought of myself as a writer, but the more I do it, the more I believe it. Keep writing and sharing.

  8. Thanks for this wonderful post, Elsie! I am sitting here at my computer deciding whether or not to take the plunge and commit. You have inspired me! I just keep telling myself “I think I can…I think I can…I think I can.”

  9. Yes, you are a writer. The first person to tell me I was a writer was a woman who ran the Summer Writing Institute I took in 2000. Until then I just taught writing. Lynn is great. I met her through the West Chester Writing Project.

  10. I still remember how excited I was to meet you at All Write, the first writer I recognized. And this slice reminds me that it’s time to dive into Poetry Mentor Texts, my gift to self from NCTE. After all, April is just around the corner.

  11. When I first started reading and came across this, “I’m not a writer. I’m a listener, a reader, a synthesizer of information, but I’m not a writer.” I was about to give you a lecture! You are a writer- and a damn good one! Glad I kept reading to discover you realize it, too. 🙂

  12. Hi Elsie! I totally agree that being part of this sol community & challenge these past five years has made me less scared to write and allowed me to find my voice as a writer. 🙂

  13. Lynn says:

    Saying one is a writer is scary! Thanks for the advice Elsie! I just keep telling myself. . . No rules just have fun!

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