Why I Write

writing2Years ago I took a workshop from William Kittredge who taught creative writing at the University of Montana for thirty years. He said when he first started out teaching he was concerned with providing his students with information and techniques for writing. As time progressed he found that the most important thing he could do for his students was to help them answer the question of why they wanted to write.

I often use this assignment with my students: Do a ten minute freewrite starting with the prompt Why I write. . . Try it, let your mind run, this can help you tap the energy behind the desire to write. Like Kittredge I have found that it may be the most important question you ask yourself about your writing. Keep in mind that a good questions opens you up to all the possibilities. You can do this assignment more than once. Play with it and see what comes up.

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