A Writer’s Manifesto

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A manifesto is a public declaration. This is my manifesto about my life as a writer. These are my beliefs about living life as a writer. There are moments that I live up to the ideals in this manifesto and there are moments where I don’t. To me, the importance is in declaring it and working towards this.

I believe a writer shows up to the page every day.
I believe writing is messy.
The first step is leaving it all behind on the page.
The rest is cleaning it up and untangling the mess.

I don’t believe in writer’s block…it’s all in the work, in the showing up.
I believe there are days when 20 words are considered success.

I believe that tools matter for the writer.
I believe in the enchantment of pens and the lure of the notebook page.

I believe thinking and talking are vital steps in the process.
I believe procrastination has a magic where words and ideas are actually percolating.
I believe every single person has a story to tell.

I believe that every word has a place and a purpose.
I believe a writer must claim the title of writer.
I believe in writing.

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What do you believe? Take some time to write your own manifesto! Share your ideas in comments…

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This month, the #TeachWrite chat contributors will be sharing their thoughts about being teachers who write. Check back every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to join in the conversation or sign up to have our posts delivered directly to your inbox.

We are inviting our #TeachWrite Chat community to add their voice to our theme for January and to have their thoughts published on the #TeachWrite Chat blog page. Are you interested in writing for us? Fill out this Google form and we will be in touch with a date for you to submit your post.

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Joy!

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JOY. What does that mean to me? Joy is deeper than happiness. It’s more sacred to me. It’s more authentic. I feel joy when I’m being my most true self. I feel joy when I overcome an obstacle or I figure out a problem. I feel joy when I sit down and write. Thinking back I have much earlier memories of reading than I do of writing. That makes sense, right? My parents read to me as a child. We had weekly library trips. Reading was a family experience.

My first memory of writing is the blue fabric journal my mom bought for me in 1980. I treasured that book. I wrote and wrote and wrote in it. It was the first place where I felt like I could be wholly myself without any fear. Those pages held no judgment. They were always there. That brought me joy. I felt like I had something to say on those pages. I wrote about school and my family. I wrote about soccer games and dinner and Grammy’s house. I wrote really bad poetry. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I figured out life in those pages.

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Writing brings me peace of mind. To this day, when I have a conflict in my life, the first thing I do is sit down and write. Writing is how I process life. Writing brings me clarity. The writing that often brings me the most joy is the writing that is not intended for anyone else’s eyes. I am the audience for much of my most important writing.

Writing for the joy of it is exactly how I feel when I sit down to write my morning pages. Writing for the joy of it is how I feel when I open the pages of my notebook to release my thoughts. Writing brings me joy.

Writing is hard too. Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” There are many days like that too. There are days when I’d rather do anything instead of my morning pages. There are days when I feel like my writing is the worst that’s ever been in the entire existence of the universe…ever. There are days when I can’t figure out how to say what I want to say on the page. Where’s the joy in those moments? Well, the joy is showing up to the page. The joy is, as Dorothy Parker says, “…having written” because even on those days, once I’m done. I feel lighter. I feel accomplished. I feel a teeny, tiny twinge of joy. Here’s a peek into my notebook entry from August 7th. I’m sharing a quote I discovered that I want to hold onto and remember!

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Here’s to JOY-full writing!
Consider this an invitation to write. We hope you share your thoughts about the JOY of writing! It’s easy. Here’s what you can do. Go to your blog (or start a blog). Write a post. Share a link to the post by clicking the blue frog. Find other posts and comment on their posts. We will share this invitation to write monthly with our Twitter chats.

Instant audience! We can’t wait to read your posts about JOY!

And we will see you on Twitter September 4th, 2017 at 7:30pm EST to talk about Beginnings.