Amazing that when this challenge began, I looked at the month of March and thought it was entirely too long. Now, with a day remaining, I’m quite pleased with my participation. I learned and reaffirmed a few things about myself along the way.
Writing in a regular rhythm makes it easy for writing to be something I do. As I’ve mentioned somewhere before, I haven’t written daily since I completed my dissertation. And, when that was happening, there were few days that were enjoyable; instead, it felt much more like a job, what I had to do to reach a goal. This time, though, I looked forward to writing. I found time to write because I wanted to. Such a difference between a have-to-do turning into a get-to-do.
I’ve become more observant. Every moment, a slice of life happens. I simply need to be attuned enough, awake enough, alive enough, to remember it for later. I’d often make notes to myself, try to remember a wisp of a conversation, what E might have looked like in a particular instant, record a note on my phone to help describe an event. I was always listening, looking, thinking about what I would write later. I think I read a quotation somewhere about life happening in all of those seemingly inconsequential moments. Indeed.
Feedback keeps me going. I came to look forward to the comments readers would leave. They were the type of feedback I try to give to my students: specific, supportive. Maybe that’s vanity, but the awareness of an audience–that someone could stop by and read what I’d written that day–definitely was another bit of motivation to get something up on the blog. I’m also aware that a community of writers can exist virtually and provide what writers need to continue working on their craft (can you tell I’m working on a potential grant?!). I tried to give the same feedback to other writers. I also found that I had my favorite bloggers despite trying to read multiple blogs daily. Next year if I can do this again, maybe I’ll create some sort of tracker that helps me visit more blogs.
Literacy educators are brilliant. The writing I read was personable, academic, heartfelt, moving. I wish policy makers could simply read through these blogs because we are the best models to teach kids how to read and write well because we are doing the work.
I like models. Some days when I had the most fun was when I’d read the Two Writing Teachers’ inspiration blog and screw up my courage to take a shot at a different genre. It was much less intimidating when I could look at a mentor text and then try my hand at my own.
It’s nice to be part of something. I knew I needed to write daily. I didn’t want to break the streak. I felt like it was my responsibility to uphold my part of the challenge. So, I wrote. Every day. I was able to work out my feelings about loving my boy, trying my best to be his mom, reconnecting with what I enjoy doing. I’d call that a successful challenge. For true.