Simply Write!

Simply Write! Practical Advice for Personal & Family Writing

Making Writing an Enjoyable Part of Your Life!

ORDER NOW!    This book is an introduction to family writing. In a nutshell, it is about the importance of personal writing for all age groups. My aim is to free writing from an emphasis on accuracy and perfection; to encourage everybody to simply write in his or her own way. This book is about the importance and joy of celebrating writing by making it part of our everyday lives.
It is based on four assumptions:

Everyone can learn to write
Writing is learned by writing
Children learn from modeling
No child is too young to become an author
Educators place emphasize on the importance of families reading with their children. We know that this practice helps children learn to read more easily. However, the idea that families writing together is just as important to raising children who write well, is not widely recognized.

When families write together from the time children are young, writing can become as important as reading. It becomes a natural activity, exerting its power for a lifetime.

The practice of writing is undergoing rapid change. Cell phones and cheap long distance rates make oral communication so easy that many are in danger of losing their ability to write. We have largely abandoned the great historical exercise of letter writing. How few personal notes now enter our mailboxes! We use e-mail to send brief, often poorly constructed, messages that are rarely saved as a chronicle for future generations to read. We are abandoning spelling in favor of the acronyms of the online chat room. Cursive writing is being replaced by printing. Composition is either avoided or turned over to professional writers.

“Writing every day is like keeping a pot of soup on the back of the stove, it is always there ready to be added to tasted and to sustain life and provide a pleasant odor in the house. It doesn’t have to be fancy. A few simple ingredients are enough. Honesty, observation and imagination are the stock.”

Julia Cameron

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IF:

you are the parent of a young child
you want your school age child to write better
you are a teacher interested in new approaches
you have stories that you know should be written down
you are a senior who wants to be remembered
you need to sort out your life
THEN:

Simply Write is a great book for you! It is a quick and inspiring read, packed full of great ideas for you and your family.
We are all creators. We create our worlds, our music, our children,
our lives. Those who write it down create history. Writing is
always the result of a conversation with oneself. Reading,
on the other hand, is a conversation with a writer.

All learning takes place through speech and writing. We tell stories to ourselves in self-talk, and to others in spoken and written conversations. Reflecting on experience is the most powerful way to reinforce learning and the deepest reflections come through writing.

People building on each other’s ideas produce inventions that change the world. Many people agree that the single most important invention was the printing press. Its advent meant that ideas could be exchanged between a highly varied set of audiences without the need for proximity. Writing could now carry the words of one person to large audiences.

“Vera Goodman is on a gallant mission: to inspire everyone to begin a love affair with writing. Simply Write! is the first writing book I’ve seen that reveals a well-kept secret: children become writers when they see their parents writing. This is a must read.”

Bud Gardner
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul

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In the book Simply Read! I show reading coaches how to develop readers who are able to let the mechanics of ‘sounding out’ fade into the background and to use experience to read quickly and fluently. In the same way, writing has to flow from our pools of experience to the page with minimal attention to structure or mechanics. When we learn to relax with words and just record them, it is remarkable how well we can write.

Children who become readers quickly and easily often come from families who model the joys of reading. We have done a good job of impressing on parents the importance of family reading. Unfortunately, we aren’t promoting this message about family writing. It is just as important.

My purpose is not to teach you the ‘how-to’s’ of writing. This book will have achieved its goal if it interests you in picking up a pen and doing some personal writing.

There are factors, seemingly unrelated to writing, that society has to change if we are to become a nation of writers. At a time when we are flooded with books, magazines and all forms of printed materials, the ability to write well seems to be declining in the general population.

A recent article by Tamar Lewin in the New York Times, Writing in Schools is Found Both Dismal and Neglected, supports this observation. It comments on a recent report by the National Commission on Writing in America’s Schools and Colleges. The Commission reported, “Writing, always time-consuming for student and teacher, is today hard-pressed in the American classroom.

Of the three R’s, writing is clearly the most neglected. The report makes a clear declaration that, “If students are to learn, they must write.” Senator Bob Kerrey, President of the New School University, makes an even stronger statement when he says, “Our spiritual lives, our economic success and our social networks are all directly affected by our willingness to do the work necessary to acquire the skill of writing.”

Writing is an important way to maintain emotional health and to record family histories. Seniors, especially, need to dedicate some retirement time to recording their stories.

Schools and homes are increasingly busy places. Writing takes time. We must steal time from other activities to give to writing. We find time for the things we enjoy so I have suggested ways to achieve the joy of writing both personally and in groups.

Words are powerful forms of energy. They affect those who hear or read them in ways we may not realize. Words put positive or negative energy into the lives of everyone to whom they are given. My mother tells me about a teacher, Mr. Smoke, who boarded in our home when I was only three or four years old. He read to me by the hour and taught me to memorize poetry. I know that the energy of his words instilled a life-long love of learning in me.

The day I felt compelled to write a book about writing, my friend Marg Edmonds, who has an uncanny knack of giving me the right book at the right time, gave me a copy of Julia Cameron’s wonderful book, The Right to Write. Julia has many worthwhile exercises to inspire writing. I decided to try the suggestion to go out for a walk and record my impressions in detail. I went for a walk in the dark and came back to write a piece that was different from anything I had ever attempted. I would like to introduce this book with that description.

I just came from a wonderful walk. It is February, still winter but it is head-uncovered warm tonight. Tiny white snowflakes hit my up-turned face, invisible except in the light from the street lamp. The particles disappear into my silver hair and cluster in the twigs of the hedges. Short-lived clusters that harbor no life yet give life to everything on earth.

I’m inside now and the flakes are barely visible in the streetlight. Given enough time, they will form thick blankets that cover the sidewalks and cling to the evergreens, decorating them with sparkles in the morning sun.

I am so blessed to be here in this moment, sitting comfortably on a welcoming loveseat with my legs on a supportive footstool. A fire flickering in the fireplace assures warmth. Rod Stewart sings softly about the glowing moon and the fullness and comfort of being loved. I feel strong and loved in this place.

Simply Write! is for you. This book is based on the premise that children will become writers when the adults in their lives model and celebrate writing. It is brim full of stories, examples and activities that encourage everyone from 2 to 102 to begin writing. Parents and teachers will learn how cooperation raises strong writers.

Vera Goodman believes passionately in the value of writing to our lives. Her deep belief in the essential role of parents in creating readers and writers is amply evident in this friendly and inviting guide. Inspirational and well informed, Simply Write will strengthen your confidence for weaving writing into your personal and family life and for teachers into your classrooms.

Terry MacKenzie
University Educator and Elementary School Principal

Writing is for Everyone … CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE BOOK NOW

P.S. Vera Goodman presents a wealth of tips and techniques for individuals who want to gain greater insight and understanding through reflective writing. She introduces a new concept – family writing. The notion that modeling and celebrating writing in the family will help children to become effective writers, just as reading together as a family helps them become strong readers, is the message of this book. She shows how parents and teachers can become partners in promoting writing both at home and in the classroom.