Be ruthless about protecting writing days… ~ J.K. Rowling

Writing is one of the most important life skills to have; yet, it is often overlooked and left out in school. Our kids need to be better writers, but many parents and teachers avoid writing because they are uncertain how to teach it correctly or assess it. The sad part of this decision is that writing gets put on the back burner and our children are hindered. Wall Street Journal editor Ronald J. Alsop, in a 2006 article, describes recruiter complaints that “job applicants cannot write a coherent letter or memo,” but instead write “collections of rambling thoughts with misspellings and grammatical gaffes.”

We’ve got to provide more opportunities for our children to write. We’ve got to write.writing tips

The only way to be a better writer is to write.

Just write everyday of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. ~ Ray Bradbury

I know that this is true. I write for several publications, help children and teens write, and I’m currently writing a book. My mind undermines the task. I frequently think: No one will read what you have to say. This has already been said. This isn’t interesting enough. And the thoughts continue to bounce beyond the corners of my brain leaving me unmotivated to write. The thing is this: if I don’t write, all those thoughts are true. Therefore, something written poorly can at least be edited and revised.

So, I beg you and your children to just write! Get the thoughts from your head onto paper.teen writing

Here’s how to be better at writing in 30 days:

  • Just write

    Commit to scheduling time to write and write for at least 15 minutes a day.

  • Sign up now to write for 30 days with NaNoWriMo. By setting a goal to write for 30 days, you will get writing done. I know a little girl that took on this 30 day challenge last year. She wrote an entire inspiring novel. I was honored to edit her work. Additionally, I was blown away by her commitment and words. How did she do it? Just one day at a time. Even if you don’t get a whole novel written, you will have far more written if you’d never set the goal.

  • Here is a link for youth. They even give you pep talks. Woo hoo!

  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), has fabulous writing tips that will get you started.

  • October 20th is National Day of Writing and November is National Novel Writing Month.

    Take advantage of all the amazing resources offered through these events to get writing.

  • Even celebrities recognize the importance of writing and becoming a better writer. Read their input here.

“You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good. That’s just how it is. It’s like learning an instrument. You’ve got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot. That’s just part of the learning process. And read a lot. Reading a lot really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.” ~ J.K. Rowling

So, today is your day. Set a goal. (For you and/or your kids.) Sign up to participate in NaNoWriMo which begins November 1st. Write for the next 30 days. (Don’t worry about grammar and mechanics, just get your thoughts on paper.) Remember all great things were created just a step at a time. Here’s to becoming a better writer. 🙂

You may also enjoy 5 Ways To Kill Your Child’s Motivation To Write.

10 Ways Reading & Writing Go Together Like Peanut Butter & Jelly

Let’s make a positive difference~ one word at a time.


Please share this article with others that you think would benefit from these tips. Also, please ask any questions that you may have about teaching children reading or writing. Leave your questions in the comments. I’ll answer. 🙂

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