Several months ago, like back in February, I set up a Twitter account for Two Writing Teachers.
And then I let it be.
I thought about tweeting, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it. Silly, I’m sure for those of you who are regular-tweeters. I hope, eventually, this admission will be a little embarrassing because I will get a handle on the genre.
It is a genre of writing, you know? I have to boil my thoughts down to 140 characters (or less). Some of it looks foreign to me too. There’s all kinds of symbols: @, #, :. I know what those symbols mean in other genres, but I’m still getting a handle on it in Twitter. Plus I’m still trying to figure out the purpose. Not to mention the audience, which is pretty much non-existent at this point. Then I’m left with figuring out my topic — really, what should I tweet about?
I wonder if our students feel some of this same anxiety when we introduce them to new writing projects. Genre, purpose, audience, and topic are all key decisions a writer must make. Before tweeting, I believed if I just explained these choices to students they would be ready to dive into a new writing project.
It’s not enough, though, to have an overview of a new genre. Nor is it enough to know what purpose, audience, and topic mean. I have to read several examples, mull over the choices, and lurk a little in the genre. Most importantly, though, I have to jump in and give it a try.
I’m a little nervous about tweeting correctly. I’m afraid about sharing my attempts with others. I don’t want to mess it up.
These are the reasons I’m sharing my Twitter adventure with you. I expect students to step out of their writing comfort zones and then to share their attempts with me. I guess it’s time I have a taste of my own medicine.
I’m not promising that I’ll be tweeting anything worthwhile, nor am I promising to have a long-term relationship with Twitter. However, I’m going to try. I’m going to play with an unfamiliar genre, publicly share my attempts, and experience first-hand what I ask of students.
Any advice is more than welcome, and if you want to follow me, you can find us @2writingteachrs. (If I knew how to link that to the Twitter page, I would . . . I’m serious about being totally green at this!) Wish me luck!
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.