I had been writing and teaching writing for a decade by this point, and I was well versed in the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, publishing). But I don't think I ever felt permission to write truly awful prose until I read this book. There was something about her calling it a "s#!tty" first draft that freed me to write things I hadn't written that summer, to examine instruction in new ways, and to finally, bravely call myself a writer.
Giving me permission to try new things opened up my world that summer, both as a writer and as a teacher.
I count it a coup that when I taught a writing across the curriculum workshop the following spring at the high school where I taught (and where I'd just resigned to stay home for a year), I got the football coach to write a moving personal narrative paragraph and say, "I enjoyed this."
To read more of this #31DaysofBooks series, visit the introduction post.