This past weekend was the Dublin Literacy Conference, and it was time for the last session of the day. I had the opportunity to spend time with Ruth Ayres, one-half of The Two Writing Teachers blog, as she talked about making writing mini-lessons meaningful.
Ruth had so many important things to say, but the one thing she said that I kept coming back to in my own head was the idea that to be a writing teacher, we need to live a writing life. My apologies to Ruth, but my mind started drifting off from her presentation as I thought about this past year, and how much writing I did NOT do.
About ten months ago, I had knee replacement surgery, and to say my recovery was a much different experience than I expected, would be a major understatement! I thought I would have all this time to read, write, and catch up on life in general. Truth be told, while on pain medications and even a little after that, my mind was a sieve and unable to hold attention on any one thing for longer than five minutes (and that was a good day). Then, there were all the exercises and rehabilitation -- all that took time and often left me exhausted. Not much writing happening in my life.
At the point when my energy and focus finally started to come back, it was time to start getting my classroom ready for new groups of students, and start the marathon of the first months of fall. Beginning of the year assessments, getting to know my students, my own parents' illnesses and traveling often to see them, parent-teacher conferences, progress reports, getting ready to present at NCTE in Chicago, holiday festivities. Wow! More time had flown by and still no writing.
So, on this Saturday of the Dublin Literacy Conference 2012, I realized I needed to step up my game. It was time to become a writer again. I was going to start writing and doing it on a regular basis. And then, as karma would have it, Ruth was sharing in her session how one way to lead a more full writing life would be to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge that they host at Two Writing Teachers for the month of March. Aha! What better way to practice being a writer than doing it each and every day?!
So there you have it - my reason for starting this challenge today. Life can get in the way of our best intentions sometimes, as my life this past year amply demonstrates. But there comes that moment in time when we need to grab the reins, and get back in control of the situation ourselves. This is my moment. Let March and the Slice of Life Challenge begin as I test who I am as a writer!
Thanks to those of you who have agreed to be my online writing support group, and for anyone else who stops by to check on my progress as a writer this month, thank you as well.