This is my sixth year participating in the March SOL Story Challenge. Today I’m sharing six things I’ve learned since joining this community.
- It is both easier and terrifying to write from the heart. Words and thoughts flow better when I’m writing about something that matters deeply to me. Yet my most honest writing leaves me feeling vulnerable- as a person and a writer.
- Until I began blogging and participating in the weekly and annual Slice of Life writing challenges, I did not think of myself as a writer. Just the opposite. It is in the doing/writing that I’ve discovered and developed my voice and style. I am a writer. There. I said it.
- There is a quote attributed to the Irish poet Cecil Day-Lewis that perfectly captures why I write. “We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” Writing is my way of processing the good, the hard and all the in-between.
- Feedback and encouragement are motivating. While hitting the “publish” button and sending my words out into the world gives me pause nearly every time I do it, I am always always grateful for readers and commenters. Responses fuel my courage to try again.
- The more I write, the more I notice myself doing things I hear writers do. Noticing. Wondering about a perfect stranger’s story. Eavesdropping on conversations and writing down snippets. Wallowing in beautiful lines and passages in books. Composing in my mind and searching for a place to put it down before it’s gone. Regretting moments when I don’t have a notebook nearby.
- Sometimes I still feel like I have nothing to write about, not a single idea, and I am glad this still happens because that experience helps me help stuck and reluctant writers in classrooms. Everything about being a writer helps me be a better teacher of writers.