monique polak

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"How Do I Know If I'm a Writer?" -- Day 2 at Laval Junior Academy

This afternoon, just as I was finishing my day of workshops at Laval Junior Academy, a student named Samantha asked me, "How do I know if I'm a writer?"

I thought I'd use Samantha's question for the title of today's blog entry -- and that I'd begin the entry with my answer.

Okay, here are some ways to know if you're a writer.

1. If you're like the two boys in today's pic (students in Miss Farrell's Grade Seven class) and you actually LIKE doing writing exercises. Or if you're like their fellow student Kiara, who had to remind me that I promised her class that we'd be doing a second writing exercise.

2. If you love words. Here's another example from Miss Farrell's class today. Just for fun, we each made a list of all the words we could think of that begin with the letter F (this was in honour of a student named Fred, who was absent for my first workshop last week). Well, even after we finished the exercise, the kids kept coming up with cool words. Kiara added "ferris wheel," to her list. TJ added "forgot" and "flute."

3. If you hate your first draft. I told all three groups that that's an excellent sign. If you think your first draft is perfect and you don't need to change a word, you are probably NOT a writer!

4. If you're snoopy. For example, if, like me, you go to restaurants with your friends and forget all about them -- because you are listening in to the conversation at THE NEXT TABLE.

5. If you enjoy doing research. (See Point 4. I consider listening in valuable research.)

6. If you're obsessed with asking the question, "What if?" For example: what if my cat attacks the cat sitter? What if I come home and find the cat sitter collapsed on the rug and my cat at the front door with a guilty look on his face? (This is an example of how asking the question 'What if?" can help you generate the plot of your story. It helps if you have a wacky cat like mine.)

My day really flew by at LJA. I think it's because the kids were fun, and I love their teachers Miss Farrell and Miss Milea. I'll share a few more highlights before I leave you to curl up on my couch with a good book (OH YEAH, I SHOULD HAVE ADDED THAT IF YOU LOVE TO READ IT COULD ALSO BE A SIGN THAT YOU'RE A WRITER!) and the wacky cat.

So, if you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know I'm obsessed with body language. Well today, I spotted body language I'd never seen before. A student named Massimo was chewing on the string inside his hoodie. I need to use that in a book.

Another highlight: a student named Ariana showed me a piece of descriptive writing that was so good it gave me goosebumps. (I only get goosebumps when I read something beautiful or hear a cool story.)

And a student named Alyssia told me her dad is snoopy. Hey Alyssia, tell him he might be a writer too!

I'll be back at LJA on Tuesday. I think it's safe to say you can expect another lively blog entry!!

Day 3 at Laval Junior Academy
Kids Who Actually Enjoy Writing Exercises: Laval J...
 

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Thursday, 20 June 2019

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