Why I Write

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    Join NCTE for the National Day on Writing, Oct. 20. 2017.

The National Council for the Teachers of English created a National Day on Writing. TeachWrite friends, this is the perfect opportunity for us to join the nation in telling our own #WhyIWrite stories.

Please leave a link to your own post in the linky icon at the end of this post. Be sure to check back and find other linked up posts as the month goes on.

I think a lot about why I write. I’ve been a writer ever since I was given my first diary with a lock and key.  Inside I wrote about my crushes, my worries, my dreams.  I wrote really bad poetry, but I wrote.  Now I make my writing more public, no more key.  But why?

I write to

  • connect: This is not why I started writing, but it is the reason I continue.  When something I write connects to the life of someone else, there is a powerful story being woven into the universe.

 

  • know what I am thinking: I can be a bit of a scatter-brain.  Just ask my kids.  When I write, I have to make some sense of things.  I also find that when I am dealing with tough stuff, writing helps. Writing can heal.

 

 

  • love language: I love the way our language works.  I’m fascinated by words.  Writing can be a puzzle. Letter by letter, word by word, you are building something beautiful and unique.  I adore poetry.  I have discovered the richness of language by reading and writing poetry for children.

 

 

  • be better: I am always striving to be a better person in my teaching, with my family, and through my self-care.  Writing helps me be that better person.  Writing can lead me to myself and reveal a part of my soul I cannot access in other ways.

 

See more of my writing at Reflections on the Teche.

Why do you write?  Answer that question in your own voice and add the link below.

 

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Beginnings

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This week we turned a page on the calendar, marking a new month.

Another page, a new beginning.

I love beginnings.  They give me a sense of refueling and renewing, or a way to say, “Hey, that didn’t work out so well, but we have this moment to begin again.”  When I start something new, I have this desire to start on a Monday, or the first day of the month, or a new grading period, or even a new year.  A benchmark, so to speak.

I seem to avoid beginning something on a Wednesday, in the middle of the day, or with just a few days remaining in a month.  New beginnings don’t belong in the middle of a time period.

Sadly, benchmarks are also a way to procrastinate, or put something off until a better time comes along. It gives credence to “I’ll start that tomorrow.”  For me, writing time can be the same way. I seem to be in a constant search for the right time. But occasionally, that time never comes, and I find myself not writing.  I easily make excuses for not writing, and typically they are tethered to time, something that seems to elude me.

The same day I turned the page to September, I also turned a new page in my own life. I began my coursework for graduate school, a degree in curriculum and instruction.

Another page, a new beginning.

I am excited, yet at times, I question my decision.  How will I have enough time?  Can I write ten page papers again?  Can I complete an action research project?  Can I keep up with my own personal writing life?  Can I still write mentor texts for my classroom?

This is why this group of teacher-writers is so important to me. Some of us have been writing for years, while others are just getting started.  I know this group will support me in my new writing, and encourage me to continue with the writing I have always done. That is what this group is all about.  If you need the encouragement to begin a writing life or the support to sustain one, then please turn to this group. That is our purpose; that is our goal.

There is magic in new beginnings.  We must trust the magic, and we must trust each other.  But more importantly, we must write.

Here’s to new BEGINNINGS!  Here’s to the MAGIC.

Consider this an invitation to write. We hope you share your thoughts about BEGINNINGS! 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 on the link-up below. Find other posts and comment on their posts. We will share this invitation to write monthly with our Twitter chats.

We can’t wait to read your posts about BEGINNINGS!

Please join us on Twitter next month, Monday, October 2nd at 7:30 EST for our next chat.

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.

 

Invitation to the #TeachWrite Chat

Join us the first Monday of every month for #TeachWrite, a new Twitter chat dedicated to growing teachers as writers and teachers of writers.

Do you….

Believe that teaching writing is easier when teachers are writers themselves?

Believe that our own writing lives deserve to be nurtured?

Believe that all writers grow through dedicated writing time?

Believe that all writers need support and encouragement?

Believe that writing is a messy process and the best way to learn this is through our own practice?

Believe that when teachers write, they make writing a priority in their classrooms?

Our chat will support teachers not only in their quest to become better teachers of writers, but to become better writers ourselves.

Join us the first Monday of every month for #TeachWrite, a new Twitter chat dedicated to growing teachers as writers and teachers of writers.

Our first chat is Monday, August 7th at 7:30PM EST with the topic of  “Writing for the JOY of It!”

Sign up for Remind on your Remind app at #Teachwrite Twitter Chat.