Writer's Log, February 6th: Rules for Writers | Elizabeth Percer
I have three kids in school right now, and collectively they have nine teachers supervising their writing and multiple peers editing it, which means they're getting approximately thirty-six messages about how to write well, many of which overlap, several of which conflict each other. You can just imagine homework time around here. Anyway, Rome wasn't toppled in a day, so my strategy has been to troubleshoot according to age group. I tell my two older children to think of good writing not so much as a singular conception, but as something similar to good cuisine. You can enjoy excellent Thai, Indian, Ethiopian foods and recognize each one as strong in its own right; similarly, you can listen to your history and English teachers and mother and appreciate what each is offering, without having to decide that one is right. (Or, that two (or more) are wrong.) And when my fourth grader began to start every other sentence with the phrase, "according to the text," we talked about the writing in