Writing Heals

Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals. — Don Delillo

Thank you for the kind comments you have left over the past two days on my posts about Nate. You have offered comfort and insight as my husband and I process Nate’s unexpected death and compose his eulogy for the funeral on Friday. This morning when I awoke, I realized the hole in my heart was more at peace than it has been. I believe part of the reason is because I have taken the time to write about Nate and have shared those words with others.

Too often we push away the things that hurt. We brush them under the rug, shove them into a dark corner, and tie them up in the bottom of a drawer. Our classrooms are filled with children who are hurting. Although I’m not an advocate for making writing workshop a therapy session; I do believe one of the truths about writing is it helps us to heal.

In a world where people avoid the things that make them hurt, we have an opportunity to teach students the healing power of writing. This is part of making writing workshop genuine and responsive to the needs of our students. This isn’t a lesson we will be able to “schedule ahead” in our lesson plan books; however, it is one we can be prepared to give when tragedy strikes.