Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Writing Y’all!

Jesmyn Ward

During my workout I was telling my trainer, Berhane, that I was going to start my indoor, winter, cycling training. I told of how I was dreading training on the inside. Berhane stated something like, “It seems that when something is good for us and we stop doing it, it is difficult for us to go back to it, but it seems that we can easily go back to things that are not good for us.”

I thought about what he said, and I had to agree with him... why does it seems like it is difficult to get back in the habit of doing things that are good for us?

Colston Whitehead

For instance, I started writing this blog about seven years ago, and I look back at a year like 2013 where I wrote two hundred and nineteen blogs. I remember making a conscious decision to write, write, and write. I needed it.... I was reading incredible books, and not many of the people whom I know were reading the same books as me, so I started writing my thoughts.

You know how love works? The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write, and I started to fall madly  in love with it. I kept that pace up for quite awhile, but in 2016, I wrote thirty-one blogs, and so far in 2017, I have written only twelve blogs, and I have to really have to ask myself why?

Life started to happen, and I started focusing on how to advance my career. I started working with a publisher, and I wrote a few pieces for the International Literacy Association, and then.... You know how it goes. I got out of the habit of writing, and it started to become something that I did only when there was something truly pressing on my heart. I would think about writing, and I would write in my journal in the mornings, but the writing would be mostly list and phrases with a few sentences here and there.

Ernest Gaines

This past weekend, I spent four days with some amazing writers at the National Council of Teachers of English conference. These folks lead tons and tons of sessions on writing, and I thought about the idea that I must start to write regularly so that I can empathize more with my students on their writing journeys.

I read an article where Jesmyn Ward, The National Book Award Winner for Sing Unburied Sing, stated that she gets up around four in the morning and writes before she wakes her kids to get them ready for school. Kelly Gallanger, the writer of lots of books, and he also teaches high school part-time, also stated that he writes early in the morning before he starts his day. And, I was told that, Jason Reynolds, the author who has written a whole lot of books in the last three years and seems to be EVERYWHERE, writes five pages a day. So, what is my excuse?

Writing just like a whole bunch of other stuff is really, really HARD until it becomes a habit. I mean for me it takes my entire body to write a blog or an essay; I mean my whole body. I can’t write with anything on in my house: no TV, no music, no background noise; it must be completely silent in order for to write. Then, I have to calm my thoughts and put my entire brain into the process. I think that is why I pulled back some; it takes my whole body and many days I have felt that I have not had that much to give.

I have a few things in the my pipeline that are going to requirement some serious writing, and I know that if I do not get back in the habit of writing, doing that serious writing is going to be quite painful, so I WILL WRITE and write often.

For the past two nights I have set my timer and have written for thirty minutes, and it felt good.

I’m back.......


Kayla said...

Writing IS hard. I know that I've slipped into just posting about my videos on my blog. I even considered just turning it into a website--no blog. I need to get back on it.

Jacqueline said...

Yes, Kayla, get back to it.... Words matter!

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