The objective of this activity was to help students see that writing isn't easy! Even published authors who we admire admit that it is hard. I wanted my students to embrace the hard work of writing.
This idea also relates to the idea of the 6 Word Memoir. You could try that approach too.
1) Author's Quotes: I started out by introducing author's quotes on writing. We discussed the authors' perspectives on writing and how tough it could be.
“Writing is not complete when you’ve added everything you could, but rather, when you’ve
taken away everything that is not needed.” – Ann Clark, Secret of the Andes
“Writing is like a sport. To get better you must practice every day.”
– Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief Series
“Resign yourself to the fact that you will not write something good the first time; you're going to waste a lot of trees before you hit your stride, and you will imitate people you admire first and that's fine – everyone has to start somewhere. And most importantly persevere – keep persevering.” – J.K .Rowling, Harry Potter Series
More Author Quotes Here
2) Modeling: I wrote several of my own quotes about writing in front of the class to help them before they got working on their own. It took me several quick drafts to get them right.
“When writing, start with the middle or with what you know, and the opening will come to you like a gust of wind.” -Mrs. Petersen
“Books sit on the shelves waiting to teach you the secrets of writing: strong characters, suspenseful plot, and how to capture a reader.” -Mrs. Petersen
3) Writing Quotes: Students wrote 2-3 of their own quotes about writing, trying to create a quote that grasped the challenge of writing in a sentence or two. The results were honestly so impressive and astounding!
“Do not excuse the seemingly silly whims of your imagination. For those little whims can grow into whole new worlds, waiting to be brought to life by the imaginations of others.” – Isabel
“Don’t be afraid to write something silly because later it will be phenomenal.” – Mariah
“Writing is near to impossible to do on your own; never be afraid to ask for a critique, a suggestion, or inspiration.
Nothing is wrong with help.” – Samara
“When you finally finish your masterpiece, and when you reread your writing, none of your original work that you started with is in your finished piece.” – Bradley
More Student Quotes Here
4) Publishing & Sharing: I posted these quotes on my wall along with the quotes from the authors. The student's quotes went alongside the author quotes and it felt authentic. Students loved reading each other's quotes!
Try This Tomorrow! Use it as an introduction to the school year or a tough writing unit. Get them on board with the challenge so they can't throw back at you all year "This is too HARD." Well, they still might, but at least you can remind them of what they learned in class during this activity.