finding my voice – solc #16

When someone asks me what I want to do when I grow up I always say, “I want to write a children’s book.”  (OK, so I am close to retirement and nobody really ever asks me in that way, but if someone does ask me about wishes and dreams that always tops my list.) I have just been busy teaching and mothering and making the most of the time left over, but I do think about it for “sometime.” And until now, I haven’t written a thing.

Nothing is better to me than reading a good book and getting lost in the story. As a teacher I know the connection between reading and writing is real, so real you can’t truly separate the two. So from time to time I would try to make a list of things to write about to make a tale of my own but I never could think of a story worth telling. And so, I didn’t write a thing.

Way back when I was in high school we had an annual student literary publication and to me the work therein was unbelievable. Yes, there was a bit of teen-aged angst in some of the writing, but generally it was inspiring work by talented writers. I never attempted to have anything accepted for the book. I knew my work wouldn’t be good enough. And except for school assignments, I didn’t write a thing.

Through the years as a classroom teacher of writing I have gone through phases of instruction – pattern writing, writing to a prompt, monthly writing folders, journal writing, Six Traits, Lucy Calkins Units of Study, and even helped plan a yearly writing curriculum using Ralph Fletcher’s Craft Lessons. I have introduced and entertained speakers who came to our district for writing workshops. I have taught some very good writing lessons, and seen some excellent writing by my students. And except for a few model pieces, I didn’t write a thing.

Then along came this year’s Slice of Life Writing Challenge. Hmmm, let’s see, all I had to do was set up a blog and write every day for a month. Wait – I didn’t know how to set up a blog and I don’t know when I have been consistent with anything long enough to do it every day for a month! But, somehow (Divine Intervention, I am sure), I began. I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote. And now here I am halfway through without missing a day – and at last I have written MANY things!

I can already look back at some of my posts and cringe. But at last I have a growing body of work that is all mine. I am writing! I AM WRITING!! For good or for not-so-good, I am putting thoughts into words and being brave enough to post them on my very own blog! One day I will even post a little something in the “About Me” section and maybe I will tell my friends the address of the blog. I have told some what I am doing, but I am not courageous enough – yet – to really own it and own up to it. But I am getting there and I know that too will come. And I am writing.

My patient and encouraging husband thinks this is great. (I did share my blog address with him and he reads it all. Thanks, Honey!) He is an accountant and generally not much of a reader: however, he knows how I love books and he does not begrudge giving me the time I need to spend with them. But he gets this reading-writing connection. I know this because the other day he said, “Do you think that all the books you have read through the years have helped you with this writing?” Yes! Oh, yes! Without the time with those books, without the close reading, without the wistful aspiration for something like that of my own, I know I could not now or ever write one thing.

Being a part of this community, however anonymously, has given me so much already. To Ruth and Stacey, I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful idea and for the time and talent you have invested in it. And to those of you who have replied along the way I am deeply honored and I appreciate your time and your responses. One precious soul commented that one piece reminded her of Cynthia Rylant’s In November – when I read that, there was a moment I just couldn’t breathe. Don’t worry – I know I have a  l-o-n-g  way to go – but I am writing!

10 thoughts on “finding my voice – solc #16

  1. pamelahodges says:

    You are writing.
    That is all that matters.
    I look for your name, fireflytrails as I like to read what you write.
    And I wait for the day, when you are not “Just another WordPress.com site”

  2. I love the opportunity to share my writing. Some is good, some not so well crafted. I love this challenge because it gives me a new opportunity to grow To think like a writer and complete slices in the way I want my students to approach their writing too. You capture so many of my thoughts in your writing. I hope you get the chance to be a writer of books.

  3. I love that you found your voice, that your husband listens, and that you are discovering your passion. Remember, you don’t cringe at it all, and blogs aren’t supposed to be perfect. You can envision that book more fully now, I bet.

  4. you go girl! I am very proud of you and I don’t even know you!

  5. Jennifer K. says:

    You and I are similar in many ways. I, too, aspire to be a children’s book author someday, but am not currently working toward that goal. I’m a great writing teacher, and the writing some of my students have produced is brilliant! I write (some) in my writer’s notebook, and I have sliced occasionally, but making writing a consistent part of my life has been hard. This SOLC has been wonderful! I have written every day and only a few days were hard. I’m ready to continue this writing habit I’ve started!

    I’m so proud of the writing work you’ve been doing! Keep it up! 🙂

  6. BethHart says:

    Thank you for finally sharing FireflyTrails with me! I’m so proud of you and believe in your gift of writing. Keep writing. You have touched me with your stories and obviously many others. You have many books to get started on… I’m thankful this blog is giving you the confidence. Keep writing!

  7. Donna Smith says:

    This itself is precious writing! Isn’t this March challenge just the best thing? I wrote for last year, making it every day to my post button!
    And not only that, but continued on in April to write a poem a day – my own challenge to me! so here’s to us – the old, new writers! Yea! Keep going’, girl! PS My husband reads all of mine, too, and values my efforts.

  8. Dana says:

    “One day I will even post a little something in the “About Me” section and maybe I will tell my friends the address of the blog.” That made me chuckle. So cool that your husband reads your posts! I nodded my head through many things you wrote in this post.

  9. showgem says:

    I like you am reluctant to share my blog with people I know. I have only shared it with my grown up daughter because she asked and I know she is supportive. I am taken aback at times by the supportive caring comments I have gotten. I have never been a writer and this supportive community is helping me to believe that I can write.

  10. Jama says:

    Our paths have been parallel throughout our lives. You express exactly the way I have felt all along the way. Perhaps someday we may meet.

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