The very heart of our blogging is to share our words with people. If we didn’t want to share, then those same words could be captured in a dot doc (.doc) tucked safely away on our computer, or even written in a paper journal. Writers who publish their work, either online or in print, presumably want someone else to see their stuff. To read it. To like it or perhaps hate it. To agree with it or not, or perhaps debate it. To involve themselves in the rich texture of the words that are there.
What a writer writes starts out as a bunch of letters, like the colourful magnets that preschoolers rearrange on the door of a fridge. When those letters are gathered into meaningful sequence, they become words. Words get organized and become sentences or lines of poetry, groups of them so powerful that they can captivate a reader, distract them from other things they ought to do.
Growing up I can remember kids getting razzed by their mother to stop playing with their food. I hope that no one is getting into trouble for playing with their words! “Use your words”, I used to tell my kids when they were upset and blurting out angrily, “tell me what has happened.” I was so excited to hear those same sentiments in the movie Stepmom! My kids got used to the fact that it wasn’t enough to say that so-and-so was a jerk. Using words meant describing a situation using language and their ever growing vocabularies. We made it fun, because wordplay is fun. It’s also extremely important. Experimenting with sounds and letters, words and pictures is what kids do in order to develop their language skills and it’s what we too to do to master a second language. Kids who are good readers become better writers. Good writers are often avid readers. The two activities are complimentary, and if you think that you can be a great writer but never read other people’s writing, I am going to argue with you big time!