Responsibilities of Being a Writer
Returning and Giving Back
As a former teacher I sometimes stop in to visit the school I taught in. Last week was one of those times. I stopped in to a third grade classroom to see a former colleague. One of her students was amazed to know that my first year of teaching I'd had his father who was at the time a third grade student.
My colleague who uses every teachable moment she can find decided to use me. Her students were currently engaged in a writing project. Now they had a published author in their classroom. So, I fielded questions about how long it takes to write a book, and how this one came to be. I told them the story had been written two years ago, but I'd gone through a writer's workshop and it had been critiqued by two other writers at that time. It's also been edited by my publisher twice. I was asked it I had written my life story to which I answered no. I read a small excerpt and explained words I didn't think they would know. It was fun.
I later entered a fourth grade classroom where I was introduced as a writer and poet. I am both. The students there were writing poetry. So I sat in the rocker in the back of the room and listened to the children's poetry. I was asked it I had any poetry memorized. I told their teacher to see if she could find Dorothy Aldis on the internet the poem started, "I'm hiding, I'm hiding and no one knows where, for all they can see are my toes and my hair." It was a poem I memorized in kindergarten many years ago. They were impressed. The biggest thing they wanted was my autograph. They just knew it would be worth something some day. I graciously gave it to anyone who asked.
That's what being a writer is about. Giving back what you have learned. Teaching youngsters the joy found in writing and having a story come alive. It's not always about the money.