Why many writers begin writing in fourth grade

I have heard a lot of writers say they began writing in the fourth grade and it got me wondering just why that is. It was certainly true for me.

When I was in 4th grade, the teacher talked about poetry and told us to write a four line poem that rhymed. I wrote an eight line poem. Hey, budding writer, overachiever, the plot needed a longer poem. What can I say? I wondered why all my classmates hated the assignment I loved so much, and why their poems didn’t rhyme well or have good meter. That was also the year I started my first, still unfinished, book.

It wasn’t until my own kids hit fourth grade that I realized why the writer in so many of us surfaces in fourth grade. In grades one through three, most kids are learning the basics. They are learning how to read and write. It is in fourth grade that students begin to use those skills to learn geography, history, and other subjects.

Writers are also voracious readers. By fourth grade, people who are innately…well, I won’t say twisted or warped, but maybe skewed, in the direction of writing, begin to use their new skills to write. We’ve read stories, we’ve made up stories for our friends and younger siblings, now we want to write them down. It’s time.

How many of you started writing in grade school?

How many of you loved it every time the teacher gave a writing assignment?

How many of you were the kid who asked if you could write more than the 2 or 3 pages assigned?

If you answered yes to these questions, you’re probably a writer!

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One Response to Why many writers begin writing in fourth grade

  1. (raises hand) Although I think I actually wrote my first “book” in second grade. It was in one of those little 3 x 5″ spiral notepads, and was about my best friend. :)