The Written Self and Writing

Two paragraphs from Sylvia Ashton-Warner Teacher presented in reverse order:

You never want to say that it's good or bad. That's got nothing to do with it. You've got no right at all to criticise the content of another's mind. a child doesn't make his own mind. It's just there. Your job is to see what's in it. Your only allowable comment is one of natural interest in what he is writing. As in conversation. And I never mark their books in any way never cross out anything beyond helping them rub out a mistake, never put a tick or a stamp on it and never complain of bad writing. Do we complain of a friend's writing in a strongly-felt letter? The attention is on the content.

Yet there are times when one cannot start. He's just not in the mood. You can't always say an important thing because it is the time to say it. Sometimes he will say candidly, "I don't want to write," and that's just what you get him to write: "i don't want to write." From there you ask, "Why?" and here comes an account of some grievance or objection which, after all, just as well as any other idea, delivers his mind of what is on it, practises his composition, and wraps him up in what is of interest to himself.

Such methods can also be applied to adults struggling with writer's block.

And so for day 502