Today begins Day 1 of Teachers Write with Kate Messner. I’m supposed to make plans — a commitment to writing this summer — something I do with regularity. Well, I make the “plans” — it’s the follow-through I usually have difficulty with (although, who wouldn’t, when a chatty almost-six-year-old WON’T STOP TALKING IN MY EAR!! haha…She’s giving me writing advice at the moment — I didn’t use a period correctly, apparently!).
Anyway, Kate asks teachers to do the following today:
1) What can I cut out of my day in order to make time to write? Definitely some TV viewing — it’s summer, so most of what I watch is in reruns anyway. But I’m bad at recording shows to watch later, and then I just veg out for a whole day. I love TV; and I love to read. So I think I just need to balance those things.
2) When and how long will I write? I’m a night-writer. I get more done after the LilyBelle and Kevo have gone to bed — and the Jakester is staying at his college apartment with an internship most of the summer. So no one will be up to talk to me or interrupt my thoughts. However, by the time Lily actually stops talking to me and goes to sleep, I’m pretty tired, too. For a while, I’m sure that getting 15 minutes of writing done each day will be the most I will do. For some reason, I write better during the school year with my students, and not so much in the summer when I’m out of work. It’s the schedule that keeps me honest, so this summer, I want to feel as if I have a schedule — and do what I tell my students: increase my writing stamina bit by bit.
3) Where will I write? I don’t have a particular place to write — no personal desk or room of my own. Most of my writing is done on the living room couch, on my bed when the LilyBelle is in the bathtub, or in bed just before I go to sleep. Sometimes I might be able to sneak out to the bookstore I love to go to when I need a break from home.
4) Who did I tell about my writing plans? Umm…no one! I’ll probably tell my teacher-friend, Somer, and make her read my stuff. She thinks I entertain her with some writing I’ve done in the past, and she’s good for my ego. I may tell my sister, but she doesn’t always give me good feedback. I have to tell the LilyBelle, because she’ll want to write with me (I’m going to have her do Jo Knowles’ kitchen prompt tomorrow!).
So, there are my plans and commitments to myself this summer. There will be days I won’t be able to write, especially this month (finishing up breast cancer treatments/surgeries); however, there are several pieces that I want to spend some time on. I need several example texts for my students next year, and this is as good a time as any to get them done. One of my biggest problems, though (especially with fiction), is plot and development; I can get the beginning and maybe even know how the story will/should end, but I can’t get the middle — where all the action happens. I want to work on that this summer so I can feel a sense of completion. I hope that makes sense.
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**The Snoopy picture captures my feelings about writing most of the time (when I’m alone). I found it at this website: http://pragmaticcompendium.com/2012/03/01/writing-is-hard/