This past Monday I spent a lovely half hour being interviewed by an eager class of sixth graders about what it means to be a writer. First of all, I was pretty excited to be acknowledged by others as a writer, which was a first for me. Additionally, the questions they asked made me think about aspects of my writing in ways that I’d never thought of.
Here is the video of my interview- .
After they interviewed me, the students reflected on what I said and what they thought about it. Below are a few of their insightful comments.
“I felt that Tara (a soft moor from Westminster) had given me (myself and the rest of the class) some good tips to use in my writing. One of them is that if I have writer’s block, to take a break or listen to music. Also, I really feel inspired by her because she got some of her work published, and I feel that I could do that to, now knowing that she got her work published starting just a few years ago. I also now think that I should start writing some non-fiction instead of only writing fiction. I really enjoyed talking to a writer who is not much older than me, it was nice to think that if she was so successful, than I might be to. I was a little bit surprised that she would have some one else edit her work because she was so familiar with her work that she wouldn’t do much to it, but then again, I am much the same way.”
“I think that her stratagy for when she has a writers block was a good idea. It was to take a break and think of some more ideas in your break time. I also thought that she was a really good speaker because she did not stumble or mumble and was very clear which what she was saying. I think that also she has a good way to get ideas which is that she takes photos and uses them to make stories. She also is setting writing goals for herself. She also likes to listen to music to keep her focus and I do that to.”
“A soft more from Westminster named Tara came in and talked to us about writing and what she writes about. I was so pleased about what she told us because when she told us what she does when she write was just so interesting. I thought that most interesting thing she told us was about how she edits and that someone will edit for her and she will go back through and make sure there are no more corrections. I was so amazed when she told us that she was published online. I was inspired by what she said and now I am going to try to write more.”
“Tara had some very unique and smart ideas. All of them were very helpful. She covered how to make your story longer, how to use good words, where to note notes and many more things. First, she said that whenever she thinks of something to write about, she just puts it in her phone. What I think of this is that that is a very smart idea. It’s very smart because she always has her phone with her so she always has something to write her ideas down with. Also, she said that she often takes breaks. I know that that will help me in the future. I’m so glad that she said that because, it will help me. She said that taking breaks makes her be able to focus more and get new ideas. Then, she mentioned that she has her family help her some of the time. Her family will sometimes help her edit it. She said that it’s hard for her to edit her own writing at first. Tara said some very helpful notes.”
“This morning in writing class, we watched an amazing interview with 15 year old, Tara. She is a truly inspiring writer who answered many questions we had and gave many suggestions. A few of the most helpful suggestions she made was, “When you have writer’s block, take a step away from your writing piece and go for a run or play around outside”. She also helped me as a writing student by saying, “Reading and writing correspond to me because when I can’t think of anything to write, I read other author’s published books and pay extra close attention. I can maybe get an idea from their writing, that may relate and fit in well with my writing topic”. These to statements were important to me because sometimes when I am writing, I get distracted. I can’t wait to use these help me.”
“Tara is a great writer and here are some things I learned. One thing I learned was that she used her iPhone to jot down notes and that authors need to have somewhere to jot down notes. Secondly I learned that music sometimes helps when you write. I learned that when you write for a long time take breaks to do other things, don’t just write because you can run out of ideas and when you go and do something else you think of more ideas. She told us that it is hard to edit your own work and let more than one person edit your work. She said that if you read a book read it two times and look at the authors type of writing.”
“Today in class a writer came in and we asked questions. The question that I would have asked is “how do you edit your writing”? Her answer was “Sometimes I edit my own piece and it turns out alright but, I have learned that if you let a peer edit your piece then they will see it as the reader and be able to make changes that will make more sense. But after they edit it then I go over it one more time.” Her answer to me, helped a lot because I usually have trouble with editing for my own pieces and when I read them out loud they are confusing so, now I get a peer to edit it and it makes much more sense to everybody else.”
“Another question that was asked is How do you focus for a long time while you are writing? She answered that as If she doesn’t stay focused she either plays soft music in her room or she she sits outside without any distractions. This answer was helpful to me because it is hard to sit in a room and write for an hour straight. I can write for thirty minutes straight in a classroom with 15 people in it but not an hour. One of her suggestions was to sit outside and write by herself and now that is what I do because It has way less distracting. ”
Their comments really touched me and I’m glad to know that I could make an impression on them. I hope they know they certainly made this “soft moor’s” day, besides having given me the opportunity to talk and learn more about my writing.