Thursday, December 21, 2017

I Write: A Manifesto by Jen Vincent

Writing is a lovely, horribly, messy process.
Writing is a process. It’s got steps and every writer goes through them. But it’s not as simple as 1, 2, 3. Sometimes I get stuck brainstorming, sometimes I get stuck revising. Sometimes I can write fast. Sometimes it takes me forever. Sometimes I make sense, sometimes I really have to work at getting my message across. Sometimes I want to give up, but knowing that there are going to be ups and downs and that’s it’s a process helps me keep going. 

Writing gets harder everyday in different ways.
Just when I learn something about myself as a writer, I realize there’s more I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like I’m Harry Potter in the Sorcerer's Stone when he’s trying to get through all the different challenges and just as he gets past one, there’s another one waiting. 

There are no better words than THE and END.
I love drafting. I love love love drafting so much, the freedom of writing words and not having to worry about whether they are good or bad is exhilarating. But to finish a first draft. To write these two words: THE and END is an amazing blissful feeling of accomplishment.

There are no better cheerleaders than family and friends.
Honestly, I could never write without the amazing support network I have. Whether they’re telling me to keep going, giving me helpful feedback, or just asking how I’m doing, they are the best.
My writing counts. And my words matter. So,
I write. 

I believe my words are important. Only I can write my words and my stories are important. More than important, they are necessary.
Whenever I can. Wherever I am.

I find minutes, sneak writing into any spare moment that I can. Whether I’m at home, at Starbucks (my favorite), or out and about, I am a writer gathering ideas, putting pen to paper, or getting my fingers on the keys.

I write:
what I love, what I know, what moves me, what intrigues me, what is real and raw, what begs to be written.

It doesn’t matter what I write as long as I write. From fun, playful stories to honest, personal stories, I write whatever tugs at my heart. 

I write to:
love myself, connect with others, make the world better.

I found myself through writing, I learned to love myself through writing. I can share my stories with others and help them see how we might be different but also how we are the same. And along the way, I hope to make the world better with my words. 

I write.

I am here. 

Jen Vincent is a writer, blogger, and educator. Growing up, books and stories made her feel whole, helped her fit in, and gave her an escape but also propelled her forward. Jen shares her love of writing at her blogs Teach Mentor Texts and Story Exploratory. She hosts Sunday Check-Ins for Teachers Write, a virtual summer writing camp for educators, and co-hosts the kidlit It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (#IMWAYR). Jen is currently an Instructional Coach for a K-8 school district in a northern suburb of Chicago. She writes picture books and young adult novels and is represented by Danielle Smith of Lupine Grove Creative. For more information, visit
This month, the #TeachWrite Chat Blog will be sharing the Writing Manifestos of our community. What do you believe about being a writer?  Would you like your Writing Manifesto featured on this blog?  Are you interested in writing for us at another time? More information is available here.


  1. I love, love, love this! This break I am jumping aboard writing again, as I have fallen off. I love the way you express the challenges, needs, and reasons! Thanks for always leading from your heart!

  2. I love this, Jen. You put so much of yourself in this post, the true and vulnerable side. Thanks for joining the series and in such a creative, new way. It surprises me how individual and unique each post is.

  3. Jen, I went searching for this post on 1/1/18 because this is my first meditation and writing exercise of the new year. Thank you for being a cheerleader to so many of us.


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