Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Slice of Life: Living the Life of a Writer


"I write every day for two hours. But it's what I do for the other twenty-two hours that allows me to write."                          Don Murray


I found this Donald Murray quote on Ralph Fletcher's site.  It made me think.  Write for two hours a day?  I can't imagine it.  I'm not really much of a writer.  I go through writing spells.  Though I don't consider myself a writer, there are times in my life when I can remember writing being an important part of it.  There have been times when I've gotten myself into a writing routine.  Honestly, I've felt the most balanced in those times.  There were my poetry years - years of school in which I focused my writing on poetry.  There were my survival years - the years that writing helped me to balance all I was trying to do.  There were my training years - the years that writing about all I was learning helped me to learn to work as a literacy coach.  There were the remembering years - the years I used writing to help cope with the loss of my grandparents.

I'm not much of a writer, but I can remember people who have walked beside me trying to put me on a writing path.  I've read a few books about writing.  I have a few notebooks of writing.  When I think about it, it was probably my move to technology that is partially responsible for my latest writing crisis.  As I moved to carrying a phone, having a laptop, being wired, it seemed to become unnecessary, almost inconvenient, to get out my notebook.  I struggled to find my new routine.

I'm not much of a writer, but I do believe it is important to write if I am going to be a teacher of writing.  So when I saw the Slice of Life Challenge start rolling through my Twitter feed #slice2012, when I had friends talking about Two Writing Teachers' Challenge, when I was reading about the challenge on blogs like Michelle Nero's Literacy Learning Zone, when I went to Dublin Literacy Conference and Ruth Ayers mentioned it, well, I felt it was calling me.

So I'm committing here to the challenge.  Mostly, I've decided I'm going to use this challenge to think more about the teaching of writing.  In Wondrous Words p. 225, Katie Wood Ray reminds us, "Sometimes I will create experiences for myself as a writer so that I can know what they feel like and later share them with students."  So for the next 31 days I'll be posting stories that I hope to use later in Writer's Workshop with my students.  I am going to do the writing work I ask my young writers to do everyday.  For the next 31 days I'm committing to trying to get back into the habit of writing.  I'm hoping to find my routine again in these 31 days.  Maybe I'll even determine if the best place for my thinking about writing is a notebook or some tech device.

I will not be posting my Slice of Life posts on this blog, but instead they will be visible at my Merely Day by Day blog.  Wish me luck.

4 comments:

  1. Once again, you are one of the people who has inspired me to embark on yet another challenge, journey, adventure! I actually find myself doing MORE writing with the help of technology. For me, it's easier to get ideas down, fix things I don't like, and then add more. Just as sharing stories of my reading life is important to my literacy instruction, I agree that my own personal writing is also critical to my writing instruction. I'm looking forward to the next month! Thanks, Cathy!

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    1. Laura,
      We all must just inspire each other as I find your energy and enthusiasm refreshing. I am thinking you likely have many journeys and adventures to share in your slices. I am still wrestling with the tech vs. paper thing. Even in writing posts, I find myself frustrated to lose drafts when revising. At least with paper, I can still see old cross outs, etc.. That being said, I like the ease in which I can make those changes and the pace in which I can write. Of course, it helps that I can also read my work...lol. I'm looking forward to stopping be to see what you are up to each day.

      Cathy

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  2. Great quote! I think you'll really enjoy this challenge. I've participated every year (except for the year I did National Boards) and I just love going back to read the posts.

    Katie
    http://coffeefueledmusings.wordpress.com/

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    1. Katie,
      I am enjoying the challenge already. I thought I would be stressed by the quest for ideas for writing, but am finding the real challenge is in selecting the best one. I'm finding reading slices to also help create ideas for writing. I am always telling my students we can get ideas from other authors, and I'm finding that to be exactly the case.

      Cathy

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