Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Lady's Advice on Reading and Writing

I was pleased to see that our president's wife gave a shout-out to reading and writing in a recent Q&A at a girls' academy, Elizabeth Anderson Garrett School. Better still, she emphasized revising!

Here's the quote, in response to a question about what she and her husband tell their daughters to encourage them in their studies:

Read, write, read, read. If the president were here--one of his greatest strengths is reading. That's one of the reasons why he's a good communicator, why he's such a good writer. He's a voracious reader. So we're trying to get our girls, no matter what, to just be--to love reading and to challenge themselves with what they read, and not just read the gossip books but to push themselves beyond and do things that maybe they wouldn't do.

So I would encourage you all to read, read, read. Just keep reading. And writing is another skill. It's practice. It's practice. The more you write, the better you get. Drafts--our kids are learning the first draft means nothing. You're going to do seven, 10 drafts. That's writing, it's not failure, it's not the teacher not liking you because it's all marked up in red. When you get to be a good writer, you mark your own stuff in red, and you rewrite, and you rewrite, and you rewrite. That's what writing is.


Chachic said...

Excellent advice! I think it's great that she's encouraging everyone to read and write.

Ivan said...

I like the last paragraph :)
Ivan Bookworm

LinWash said...

Great advice!

Katherine Langrish said...

She knows what she's talking about! I love that bit about not minding the corrections in red - they mean work in progress, not failure!