While at the Annual Meeting's General Session, I wrote about my initial experiences with the NWP. Donalyn Miller was on our minds as we, a group of 1,300 or so TCs, considered how we moved from silence to whispering. Here's what my pen did:
I love paper with no lines, so it's strange I own a giant leatherbound journal full of them. The blank page is intimidating in a lot of ways, but it can be freeing too. I see the opportunity to write in whatever font size I want to on blank paper. If I'm feeling a bit empty, I can write in BOLD ARIAL 20 CAPS LOCK, but if I hit a stride of wordiness I can sink into 10 point Times. The space and my words are married in whatever way I design in the moment. They are awkward partners at times, I'll admit, but they are stuck together.
There are no lines in the National Writing Project, only the invitation of space waiting to be filled by whatever I'm able to bring. That kind of environment can sustain an entirely different sort of ecology than a fancy journal with lines and filigres at each footer. The distance between writing and editing, of teaching, learning, and failing are all mitigated by the space in which they occur.