The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is "writing." I believe that the key to good writing is good reading. I have been a voracious reader since I first learned to read. I feel most satisfied with life when I have a stack of books to read, just waiting for me to immerse myself in another world. The things that I read inform my world view, influence my style, and get me to think in new and innovative ways. I like to talk about what I am reading and I often like to write about what I am reading. So in this way, reading and writing are intimately connected in my mind.
Writing is a big part of my life, important to the way I express and understand myself and a big part of what I do for a living. I am a teacher and this necessarily means that I read my student's writing and work to help them improve their mastery of their thoughts and ideas. Because I teach history and government, I am particularly focused on good analytical writing. I always explain to my students that their goal is to describe and explain something (a fact, an idea, a political or historical development) and then to explain why it matters.
I think that is basically the approach I take to my own writing. I write about something that has happened to me or something that I am feeling and then I try to figure out why it happened; why I feel this way. And even if the meaning of the experience or the event is not explicitly clear, I approach it with an eye toward the "why." For example, I like to occasionally record real-life conversations with JT, my family, and my students. I place those conversations on my blog and think of them like a snapshot of a moment in my life. I don't analyze them explicitly on the blog, but strung together they show a lot about me: my sense of humor, my world view, the daily events of life that give my world meaning. In the end, my own writing is a reflection of the history of my thoughts and my life. And since I am a history teacher, that seems particularly fitting.