If you are reading this blog, you’re probably a writer. Or a wanna be writer. Or a Seven Scribes groupie. Or a loyal friend who feels obligated to read this blog.(Sigh… That’s what friends are for.) Writing is considered an art form. Right? Like painting or acting, or dance. And as I was sitting in my classroom with my hands covered in glue and sunflower seeds, gently directing/ maniacally yelling at my class to finish their spring projects (Eat the sunflower seeds if you have to but not the glue!) I started thinking.
I’ve never been a jock (Surprise, surprise!) My school career consisted of years of clarinet lessons, play rehearsals and choir practices. (NERD!) And while I’ll readily admit that I was not running in the same crowd as the cool kids, I never considered myself artsy either. In my school the artsy kids were the ones who wore all black, wrote bad poetry and spent hours in studio art sketching things that would make your mama blush. The artistic kids were… weird. I wasn’t … well not really.
I was a writer even in high school, even though at that point I had yet to put a pen to paper I would dream up fantastical story lines all of them with happy endings. But I never thought that in any way that I was artistic. I couldn’t paint or draw. But writing is an art form. So by that logic I must be.
It didn’t occur to me that I might be until I started teaching elementary school five years ago. To work with children one must be crafty. I have fixed broken glasses with a paper clips. Ducked taped shoes together, replaced shoe laces with yarn and found hundreds of creative ways to get gunk out of things. I became the Macgyver of second grade. Creativity and teaching seem go hand in hand. Walk into any elementary school and the one thing you won’t find are bare walls. Come into my class room and you’ll think a Micheal’s craft store exploded in there. Art projects are what make elementary schools look like happy places.
So maybe I can’t draw or paint but I can make some parent smile with the masterpiece their child created out of tissue paper and glue. And by doing that I can make the place I work look like a pretty, happy place. And that’s what I’m good at. So I guess I am an artsy person. I like going to shows and museums. I rather watch Antiques Road show than football.(I sound super boring, don’t I? And about a thousand years old. I can be fun. I swear!)
But what about other writers? Do we all enjoy the same things. Are we easily stereotyped? Are we all just a little bit dorky? How many of us are former jocks or homecoming queens? For how many of us is writing the only artsy thing we’re good at?
So share with me. What else are you good at?