Why do we write?
We write emails, instructions, social media posts, lists and reports but rarely a story or poem.
For most adults in the world today, the idea of sitting down to write for the purpose of entertainment is a luxury few have and even fewer have the time for.
Yet our students are expected to create engaging, exciting and entertaining writing across a range of genres. Even more bizarrely, we ask our children to imagine the audience they are expected to write for.
So not only are young people having to use their imagination to create these inspiring works of fiction, they need to save some of that imagination to actually envisage the person that will (not) be reading it!
In all honesty- the children know the only person who is ever likely to read the daring adventures of countless protagonists that have been created is inevitably the teacher.
So we ask again- Why write? Who is it for? Why should I care?
Children need a real audience for writing. A reason to include all of the flourishes and engaging aspects of writing that we desperately want them to include.
And the best part? That audience exists in every classroom around the world- our student’s peers.
BoomWriter (www.boomwriter.com) is a collaborative approach to writing that gives students an audience within their class and beyond using technology. With the students knowing that their peers will be voting on their work to decide the winning chapter for an ever changing and flowing class narrative, they instantly have a vested interest in writing at their best possible standard.
Where we have worked with schools on the use of BoomWriter, we have seen a dramatic increase in engagement in both boys and girls within writing. Pupils are writing with the knowledge that they have the potential chance to be published within the book as a writer. Additionally, they know that a great many eyes will be looking at and judging their work.
Why write? Who is it for? Why should I care? These questions can be answered in some way by engaging students in the collaborative process of writing that software like BoomWriter can facilitate.
You never know, maybe a few more students will have the opportunity, and more importantly the desire, to write engaging and inspiring fiction in the future. We just need to give them a reason to.