Saturday, March 31, 2012

Crisis of Confidence Averted and Some Heartfelt Thank Yous - #Slice2012

I'm going to make a disclaimer as I write this final slice: I am watching all the Final Four basketball games; currently the Kentucky/Louisville one.  I'm hoping that the phrase, "And one!" doesn't accidentally appear in my writing (a little joke for any basketball fans that might be reading this post).

I enjoy writing, but this past year as I got out of the practice, it got very difficult.  I began to have a very large crisis of confidence about myself as a writer.  I had written exactly 30 blog posts and 1 Choice Literacy post between the months of April 2011 and December 2011.  I'm not sure that's even an average of four posts per month.

Life kept getting in the way and my inability to jumpstart my own writing plans got worse.  As with anything I keep putting off, the longer I went without writing, the harder it became to sit down with a notebook or my laptop.  Nothing positive was happening.

 Then, in November, I got a glimmer of the writer within me when I found out I would be attending a writing retreat this summer.  But July, the time of that retreat, seemed so far away.  What was I going to do NOW?

And then in February, during the Dublin Literacy Conference,  I heard Ruth Ayres speak, and she spoke so eloquently about how we need to live the life of a writer, and that means simply, we need to write.  We need to make time to write each and every day.  As an aside, one of my favorite posts of Ruth's during the Slice Challenge was her post titled, "B.I.C."  Like many others, I assumed she was talking about the pen, but no, she was talking about "butt in chair".  That's what she needed to do to meet some writing deadlines.  Ruth's talk inspired me and I knew it was time for me to try the Slice of Life Challenge.

 When I originally thought about this post, I assumed I would be listing my final reflections about this challenge.  But, as I typed, I realized what I really want to say is, "Thank you."

Thank you to:
 Ruth for her initial inspiration
Kelli for telling the truth, the good and the bad, and doing it with such great voice
Linda, who spread her positive attitude, even while dealing with issues of her own
Katherine because I realized we have so much in common and you introduced me to Daufuskie Island
Cathy for every single thoughtful comment she left for each of us; she helped me grow as a writer
Cindy for typing even while on meds and amusing us all
Julie for all the thoughtful posts about family and being that "old lady" in the fun sports car
Jen for being brave and trying a fiction piece
Nicole for being the kind of teacher that "shows" her students how big a blue whale is
Josie for starting a blog just for this challenge and sharing a love of literacy, kids, and family with me
Carol for sharing the heart-wrenching and joyful story of how she became a family with her two sons
Mardie for being such a determined biker chick
Stacey who loves her daughter so much and it shines through each of her posts
Mandy who is in the middle of assessing 44 kindergarteners and still found time to post each day
Katie D for sharing her love of teaching first graders
Michelle for being my model/mentor for writing poetry; because of you I tried it and succeeded
Ann Marie for writing so beautifully about teaching an adult to read
Laura for sharing my love of Delirium and Pandemonium (how soon can she write the 3rd?!!)
Elsie for writing about the flirty pansies and how we're still parents no matter how old our children are
Deb F who missed me on twitter but still stopped by to leave me comments while I was slicing
Bill, my blog partner, for letting me highjack our blog for the month of March
Everyone else who stopped by to keep me company these last 31 days.
I couldn't have done it without all of you.
It really did take a village to help me become a writer again.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart!!!


  1. I have loved reading your posts@ See you on Tuesday???

  2. We do have so much in common and I am thrilled I got to introduce you to Daufuskie. :) Will you be at All Write?

  3. Wow--powerful experience. Love the support of others and the difference it made. I am amazed at all of you that took on this challenge. Loved reading all of the great posts. Thanks!

  4. I am so glad you found your writer self again through this. I look forward to future slices.
    Thank you for the comments you have left me. They mean so much.

  5. Karen, it was a pleasure writing alongside you. I have enjoyed every minute and am looking forward to Tuesday slices. I am going on the writing retreat too! How fun will that be!

  6. Oh, my goodness Karen, this is beautiful. Your thank yous are a beautiful poem. I love that Barbara says YOU ARE AWESOME! That just sums it up... Your sincerity and your passion for people, teaching, writing, reading, life comes through in all you do.


  7. I think you just showed the kind of writer you are: fabulous! Thank you for all your kindness, too, Karen. It's been a good conversation throughout the month. Hope to see you in April!

  8. Karen,
    This is a fabulous post --- as usual. I have enjoyed stopping by. I wouldn't know how to make a drip sand castle, the power of women in a book club, or the connections between knitting and writing. Like you, I have struggled to be disciplined about writing. Thankfully, friends keep pulling me back. Thankfully, friends take time to listen, encourage and teach.

    This post so reflects who you are. You are so good at listening to others, synthesizing the message, and noting the golden nuggets within. As I read your comments across blogs I couldn't help but think how amazing it must be to be a student in your writer's workshop. I can see you pulling up a lovely IKEA stool and coaching the a writer.


  9. I loved being able to read your posts and see your comments and be part of this awesome revitalization for all of us as writers. I was surprised to see that you were feeling such a "crisis of confidence" as a writer. I guess none of us are immune...
    I hope to see more posts on Tuesdays - and maybe with a bit of nudging, katsok and I can see you at All Write???

  10. Karen~
    I have so enjoyed learning more about you though your slices. Reading has been like hundreds of queso get togethers!

    (Looking forwar to seeeing you back on twitter)

  11. Thanks again everyone for stopping by during the Challenge!

    Katherine and Cindy - no nudging required! I was going to attend AllWrite last year, but that darn knee replacement got in the way. Will definitely be there this year!

  12. I had the most wonderful time reading your posts. They were heartfelt and beautiful, and I can admit, I sniffled a little bit knowing you were no longer teaching down the street from my house--I would love for my kids to grow under your guidance.

    I read your slices every day--sometimes the crazy little Trabers prevented me from commenting, but please know I feel like I know you. I am honored to teach in this district with you, Karen, and I look forward to getting to know you better!

  13. This is a lovely wrap up to the challenge. As I read it and recognized those slicers posts where I had stopped by and I was reminded of their gifts to me in their writing. Thank you for those reminders.

  14. Karen,
    Thank YOU! For this beautiful wrap up. It was kind of like walking down memory lane and some of these I remember vividly (side by side conversations wasn't on there, but was running through my head the other day as I sat on the couch having a conversation with my son, who you can imagine doesn't open up easily) and some were new! Also thank YOU for your all your encouraging words. I'm so glad we did this together too! I'm back to school tomorrow after spring break and I'm going to have to have a chat with my calendar.

    Talk soon ~ Love ya!

  15. Karen, what a wonderful final post and tribute! So thoughtful! I'm amazed! I'm so glad you did the challenge and succeeded! Thank you for all your kind words. It is amazing what comments (or posts like this!) do to lift us up! What an amazing journey and I hope to continue to see you on Tuesdays! Got to keep working those writing muscles! Until then . . .