Developing My Writing Process                                                                                     

Writing Metaphor

My writing is a can
of spray paint.                    

I shake it up, over and over,
waiting for it to spray.
When it does spray,
it comes out covering everything,
even places it should not cover.

I spray it all out anyway,
my words and thoughts,
knowing I will have a mess to clean up.

Why I Write

This webpage represents my journey as a writer, a journey that enhances my life in several ways. Working through the writing process improves my critical thinking and also my ability to express opinions and communicate with others. Additionally, because I write, I am a better teacher, and I am reminded that writing is difficult, so I must support my students and praise their efforts — especially when they are frustrated. So for those reasons, I write, and I write often, and for my efforts, I am continually compensated.

My writing is organized to showcase published pieces first, then online writing, and finally writing produced in graduate school.

Professional Publications

English Journal

My writing is venturing into a new realm. As the Assistant Chair of the NCTE's Secondary Section Committee, I am expected to submit an annual article to the English Journal. My first article was published in January 2014, and my second article will be published in March 2015.

"Why Teach Poetry?" By Tara Seale March 2015 Vol 104 No. 4

Writing for the Web

Enhanced English Teacher

I learned how to blog on my own web creation: Enhanced English TeacherBut before I created my first blog,I read other blogs, viewing them as models to help me understand this genre. For example, I learned from the Cool Cat Teacher blog that I needed a memorable, alliterative title, which inspired the name of my blog. I also learned how to insert hyperlinks and why it is important to include images and video from Sue WatersThe Edublogger

Twitter @tseale

Writing on the web requires conciseness, which I practice on my Twitter account @tseale. I posted my first Tweet on August 2, 2008. I have sent almost 4,000 tweets, and I have approximately 2,500 followers. 

NCTE Blogger

Writing for my personal blog and twitter account provided the web 2.0 experience I needed to become a blogger for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Secondary Level on their blog High School Matters. Publishing as a professional creates an additional pressure to provide ethos, ultimately enhancing my writing skills.

Google Guest Blogger

After becoming a Google Certified Teacher, 
I was invited to write a guest blog post on the Official Google Drive Blog titled: Google Docs: the tool for the 21st century classroom. Working with the Google Blog editors taught me how to stick to a word count. Blogs should provide relevant visuals, useful links, and most importantly, get to the point.

Writing in Graduate School

MA in Professional and Technical Writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) 

Graduate school was the next logical next step in my development as a writer, and while the rigor has often been challenging — writing is a time consuming and cumbersome process, after all — the rewards have been rich. 
I organized the following writing examples in chronological order, representing my graduate school adventure and illustrating my determination and desire to communicate my thoughts in engaging, insightful, and original ways and in a variety of effective genres.

Composition Theory

Composition Theory with Dr. Joanne Matson inspired me to consider my own writing process.  This course outlined the historical development of composition studies and clarified present day theories, helping me to better understand my own development 
as a writer.  

The Little Rock Writing Project

“Take risks, make mistakes, get messy”

        — Sally Crisp

“She just wrote dm in the margin.  She told the class it meant dangling modifier, but he was sure it meant damn.”

— Erika Lindemann in “Awk and Frag” 

Besides collecting great quotes, I learned to take risks, allowing my writing to get messy. I also became a better teacher, realizing that it is important to reassure students that drafts are suppose to have mistakes — that is why we call them rough.

Advanced Nonfiction

Dr. Anderson's class built on what I learned in the LRWP, pushing me to explore narrative techniques and strategies. I often wrote five to seven drafts, feeling like Oscar Wilde when he said, "In the morning I took out a comma, but on mature reflection, I put it back again."

Rhetorical Theory

In Rhetorical Theory with Dr. Jensen, I was challenged to understand the theories of rhetoricians throughout the ages. I discovered theorists whose ideas helped me to develop my own thoughts about rhetoric. I also spent a lot of time writing to learn in this class, as evident in the midterm exam response that I linked.

Presentation: Giambattista Vico

European Fiction

European Fiction with Frank Thurmond challenged me to think insightfully about literature so that I could participate in lively and productive class discussions and write meaningful journal entries. I also critically considered and wrote about Isak Dinesen's short story "Sorrow-Acre." 

Theory of Technical Communications

The articles and assignments in Dr. Kuralt's Theory of Tech Comm challenged me to grow as a writer and a thinker. This class exposed me to concepts and ethical views I had not previously considered.

Portfolio Defense

Read my explanation for how and why I created this website here
View an accompanying slideshow here.