From zero words to 500, one character at a time.
The season of colds, holiday events, planning time for spring and summer writing project events, my mom’s very slow recovery from heart failure, and the lengthy winter nights try to add up as an excuse. The truth is, after my concussion, I simply haven’t gotten back to a writing habit. I used to use a blog simply or that – for daily writing to sit down for 20 minutes after work and blurt on the page.
Then blogging seemed to need purpose and I wrote commentary on teaching and explored ideas about writing process.
Now I share the blog with an instructional coach who is busier than I am. We co-write professional development and have brought another teacher in on a book proposal. Except we never find time to write on our blog. Too busy doing it all to write about it.
A blog now seems too public to contain my free writing, that is, when I start doing it again. Which, today, going for those 500 words, I intend to do. The return.
Anne Lamott said, “Writing. Almost anything else is more fun. But it’s a shitty life to wish you were writing. In a great life, you get your work done.”
And here, with no one making me write, and writing badly, I’m already beginning to feel better. To whom did I owe this non-writing apology, anyway? No one else cares.
I have begun to pull out stories from my checkered life that seem to want to be written. I have experience with teaching writing I want to share, if I can find a useful vessel for it. I want to write.
And, since I’ve come back to my little writing desk in windowed corner of my room, my cat is on my lap, acting needy of attention. Even my writing cat is out of shape and forgot the routine. Jump up on the desk and sleep next to my laptop.
For now I will tolerate him seeking my warmth and resting his silly black and white head on my left arm as I plunge ahead, going for 170 more words.
Non-writing has also meant I’m writing for other people’s purposes. Writing up the spring Saturdays, four workshops for K-6 teachers in teaching essay, making it synch with the 4-6th grade students who will attend. Meeting the coaching requirements of my sharp co-writer.
Composing in my head while I’m driving and then not getting to the desk is another kind of non writing that has been going on. Musing out the window at the winter changes and not knowing what project to begin.
So, that ceramic sculpture of the clay person is out the window, in my view. He says tell the truth about some of my unconventional life experiences and take that Hemmingway adage to heart to write about what hurts.
Then, in this process of this discovery draft, I realize what I already knew, all along.
I just need to write.