I'm not ready to think of my writing as anything but exercises in a notebook. Why do I need feedback if I'm never going to publish? I'm not planning to be an author. What am I even doing here?!?!?!?
I'm participating in #teacherswrite as a compliant student. It's possible that the first time I saw "your current work in progress" I could have closed my computer and quit. I don't have a work in progress. I don't have an idea for a novel, and I'm not sure I will have one. Right now, I'm just playing along for the learning process. My teachers are telling me it's valuable, and as a teacher, I know they must be telling the truth.
LIGHTBULB: If students don't have a true purpose for writing beyond an assignment given by a teacher, if they're not attached to the work in some way, they're going to feel just as indifferent as I do this morning towards feedback. Especially if, like me, they aren't confident writers.
In the past, I've tried to fix this problem by giving students an audience, and that works to an extent. "You'd better do a good job, because this is going to be PUBLISHED! It's not just for me to read and grade, it's for THE WORLD!" It seems to me now that this just plays on fear of embarrassment, and there are so many 8th graders publishing snapchat screenshots of their contorted faces to instagram that publishing something isn't as "special" as it once was. The internet makes it easy for anyone to find an audience. The motivation to write has to come from the students. They need to have a message to share... a story that only they can tell.
So now the question is, how do I get my students to feel compelled to write? How can I guide them to the stories only they can tell, and then build their confidence enough to make them want to tell those stories? And what happens when there's a student like me, who struggles and feels unmotivated when asked to write fiction, but can write blog posts about whateverwhatever with abandon?
Clearly there are problems to solve, and all I can do is keep writing to find the answers.