Little Writer or Little Monster?

Linda left a comment on my last rereading post reminding us about the voices we ask kids to turn off when they are writing. You know the voices — the monsters that tell you evil things like: This is dumb; You can’t write: Why are you writing those words?

These monsters must be squelched. This was my biggest ahha when writing Day by Day. Before then, I can honestly say the Little Monsters didn’t talk to me much. They were loud and clear when I first started drafting Day by Day. In fact, I attempted to write for three weeks, with nothing to show for it. Finally I realized I had to fight back. I learned to turn them off and since then have taught many young writers about the monsters in our brains.

The Little Writer in my brain isn’t like the monsters. The Little Writer is good and tells me important things. I think sometimes young writers think they already know what their writing is about so when they reread they “check out.” The Little Writer can help them focus and pay attention to places revision or editing can take place.

Here is the image I shared with fifth graders this week, when teaching them the difference between the Evil Monster and the Little Writer in their brains.

Here is the list the fifth graders generated during the share session after listening to the Little Writer in their brains.

Results from sharing in fifth grade.