For a long time now, I have practiced the daily habit of handwriting in a journal. There's something about writing on paper for an imaginary audience that never judges and always listens. And it feels especially precious these days during social distancing, when we are in video contact with others, staring through screens all day long. For me, scratching marks on physical paper in the early morning is a reliable time to slow down, think and make something simple, made all the more enjoyable with an espresso.
The habit of daily writing also informs the kind of storytelling that's meant for an audience. It's like doing exercises, in a way. Or warming up before a run. The writing process is often hard work and it feels good to be limbered up and ready to go. The writing process is what drives so many creative and professional endeavours. This little essay features images I've captured in real Alberta classrooms in which students use the habits, routines and mindsets that are common across all disciplines that begin with writing with purpose for a real audience: