daily writing habit · One Little Word

2016 – Bring It On!

I am a struggling writer. I struggle with topic selection, getting started and a lack of self-confidence. And, although I love to write, I realize that I love the IDEA of being a writer more. The process of writing, with its concomitant failures and less-than-perfect results, is not a selling point for me.

In my mind’s eye, I can almost see a blank book cover with my name on it, even if I can’t envision what the book is about. I can imagine myself a part of an elite group of teacher-writers who are disciplined, serious and have interesting things to say. I tell myself, “That could be you! If only…” And there my thinking trails off and I return to a state of numbness where “if only” becomes a long list of self-pitying excuses for why I will never write well enough so that others can appreciate and learn from what I have to say.

Now that I’ve confessed my deepest feelings of inadequacy, I can let them go. Just like that. I resolve to stop thinking about them. I am determined to turn the page. And, although I’ve attempted to do all of this before, this year will be different. This year my one little word (OLW) is ambitious, as in “having a desire to be successful” and not as in “wanting to be famous and powerful”.

Although being successful could definitely be equated with having power and fame, that is not my intent at all. I aim to be successful in the sense of achieving those goals that I’ve set for myself. For example, I will be successful if I am able to do daily and intentional or focused writing. It is less important if this writing is destined for publication writ large. What matters is that I’m writing. Period.

Of course, some of this writing will be published in the form of blog posts, presentations, articles, book proposals, and stories. But, by writing every day I will no longer be searching for THE topic to write my next blog post. Instead, I will have a repertoire of writings from which to select. My writing will improve. I will have accomplished my ambition. I will have been successful.

I am approaching 2016 in the same way that I approached my third pregnancy: this is the year (month for getting pregnant). If my writing doesn’t become a regular routine, a viable part of my daily life, then I may as well give up and recognize that while I am a strong reader, I am a less committed writer.

If this is how things turn out then I will have to readjust my approach to teaching writing in the classroom from a teacher who writes to a teacher who struggles with writing. I am hoping this will not be the blog post I will be writing on December 31, 2016. Rather, I am planning to focus on asserting myself as a successful (habitual) writer by the end of this year.

Throughout this year, I will hopefully post about my writing journey. I know it won’t be easy. In fact, it will probably be difficult and I will probably want to give up more often than not, but it will be worthwhile. Wishful New Year’s optimism? Perhaps, but  I am speaking and acting as if this is already how things are. Today’s writing is proof of my new approach.

Here’s to a productive, ambitious, joyful 2016. Bring it on!

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