Jeff Anderson … is phenom!

A while back I talked in a Sunday Post about Jeff Anderson.

I attended a workshop at my district’s education service center. All I knew about the workshop was that it was about STAAR writing and by Jeff Anderson. Hell if I knew who Jeff Anderson was.

We arrived. My partner and I, and our counterparts in the grade above me, attended this workshop. We sat at a table together front and center. Almost the entire day, Jeff Anderson stood around or near our table. It was great!


I had no clue Jeff Anderson was an author. Until he busted out his newly published book, ZACH DELACRUZ: Me and My Big Mouth (story of my life, man!) and started reading the first chapter right before lunch.

Standing in front of me reading this hilarious book was this man, and when I looked up at the screen, there was the cover of the book. With Jeff Anderson’s name on it! 

Let me tell you, the man is a writer. He writes for writing teachers, and he writes for kids. It all goes together for me as a teacher. He routinely does professional development around the country, and I am so thankful I had the opportunity (um, requirement by my principal) to attend one of his workshops. It has changed me and my vision for my life.

Jeff Anderson writes for teachers, and was very gracious to the groups of teachers who brought their previously purchased Jeff Anderson books for him to sign. I was surprised! I bought his new book, and he signed it for me!


I have never felt more alive than I did in Jeff Anderson’s “classroom.” I felt reinvigorated for life. Even though he was teaching K-12 teachers strategies to use in the classroom with our students who struggle with writing, particularly in craft and revision, he opened my eyes as a writer. All of the same reasons the kids don’t like to go back and revise their writing are the same reasons I struggle and find it so difficult to do myself, which is why we never do it!


Amazing things happened in Jeff’s classroom. Sitting through his workshop, I realized several things. First, as mentioned above, why I don’t revisit and revise my work.

This got me to thinking about why I stopped writing in the first place. Quite simply? I had no one to authentically share my writing with. Sure, I had a friend who would read anything I shoved under her nose, but she couldn’t help me. She would just tell me it was good. This is the same reason people need a workout buddy – someone to share and support you in the endeavor. I had no writing buddy…

Which lead me to the next idea: I know who could be my writing buddy! She’s taking a new direction in her life, and she even approached me previously with a query in regards to writing about teaching. She’s the one! She’s my writing buddy!

Through Jeff’s workshop and sentence manipulation, I also discovered that I like to buck traditional conventions for the sake of craft. I’m at this point in my life where my attitudes follows that sentiment of bucking conventions and being different.

Now all the puzzle pieces have fallen into place. I know why I hate to revisit my work, I know why I stopped, and I have a writing buddy. All that’s left to do is, well, write! My final resolution.

I’m not going to put off writing, I’m not going to ignore it, I’m not going to get caught up for hours agonizing over one paragraph. No excuses. I am going! Will you come with me?


Dare to be brave. Dare to write.

Look for me during NaNoWriMo!  🙂

Follow Jeff Anderson, the Write Guy! 

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Zack Delacruz is unnoticed at his middle school—and that’s just the way he likes it. But a school assembly, a typhoon of spit, and an uncharacteristic moment of bravery are all it takes to change everything. Suddenly Zack is in charge of the class fundraiser. Worse, his partner is the school’s biggest bully! If they don’t sell all the chocolate bars, there will be no dance for the sixth grade.  Zack never wanted to be a hero, but with his classmates’ hopes on the line, can he save the day?

10 thoughts on “Jeff Anderson … is phenom!

  1. It sounds like this workshop was indeed fantastic, Charlie! I teach English as foreign language, and so, getting students to write isn’t always that easy. Especially because the layout of an English essay is very different from what they have to do when they write in French! It’s like I’m teaching them something they’ve never done before 🙂
    I’m glad the workshop has helped you make some new goals both when it comes to teaching and when it comes to your own writing.

    • I loooooooved the workshop. It made my me so thankful and realistic with myself. I even told one of my coworkers started asking all these questions about “Well, can we do…” when he told us to do something. I stopped, looked up, and said, “We can do whatever the hell we want. We’re writers.” I need to write another post about that…why students don’t like to write, because my kids HATE to write. Period. Even my creative writing students. I can imagine it is even more difficult teaching ESL. The language itself is one of the most difficult due to all the irregularities, and teaching writing is difficult as well. Doing both together – you are a brave woman, Lexxie!

  2. Charlie, this workshop and this writer sound amazing! You are clearly inspired and fired up, and I can’t wait to hear how things go for you as you pursue building a writing buddy relationship and rediscover your love of writing. And I’ll be looking into Mr. Anderson’s work, both for myself and for my daughter.

  3. Oh that is AWESOME that you had that break through. XD And I totally agree! Having a writer buddy is very motivating…and also helpful to get you improving?! Like sometimes I get stuck and I know my writing needs something but I can’t figure out what. So a writing buddy comes in and tells me how to shape up and ta-da! Writing becomes so much more easier. ;D
    So glad you got to meet this awesome sounding dude. 😀

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • I felt on top of the world sitting in his workshop! Having this writing buddy gives me so much more confidence to move forward! Thanks for stopping by, Cait! Oh, and my book charms came in the mail last week. They are *AMAZING*!

  4. What a fabulous post! I can’t wait to read what you write!!! 🙂 And I’m checking out this super-inspiring guy’s book right now. I have found that the books teachers write really resonate with my kids! They adore The Maisy Files by Elizabeth Woodrum for one!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

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