At last night’s #TeachWrite monthly chat participants discussed ways to could keep a writing habit going when school starts up again in the fall. I know that for some of you, school has already started, but I’m still in summer mode. A couple of suggestions resonated with me and so I want to discuss them here. By making them public I am hoping that I will be more accountable to myself and my writing.
First, I will write before going to sleep or first thing in the morning. I don’t know about you, but I tend to check social media right before I go to bed and as soon as I wake up.
My phone doubles as an alarm clock.
I have a routine for checking social media. If I don’t have any new notifications on my WhatsApp chats, I immediately open up my personal email. Most days I end up deleting quite a few emails (some subscriptions are difficult to unsubscribe from!), and maybe end up reading just one or two emails, if that many. Typically, the rest of the emails sit in my inbox until I can get to them.
Then, I check FB. I go to my notifications. I read the ones that are immediately interesting and leave the rest for later. I might do a quick scroll to see what shows up on my feed, but not always.
Next, I go to Twitter and I repeat the same routine as with FB.
Finally, I check my university email.
At this point, I am a bit overwhelmed: I’ve filled my head with all the real and fake news that’s on social media and I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet!
So, my new plan is to have a small notebook and a pen on my nightstand. When I wake up in the morning, or right before I go to bed or both, instead of checking social media right away or at all, I will write for at least 10 minutes. Seems simple and clean, but because I’ve tried this before, I know how difficult it is to build a new habit. But I’m willing to give it a try. Starting a new habit may be a challenge, but what’s really difficult is staying with it until it sticks. When you’re in the middle part of developing a habit, it can get boring. The newness has worn off. If I can get past that, then I’ll be OK. I’m counting on my writing buddy and August writing group through #TeachWrite to keep me honest. Hint! Hint!
For as long as I have been doing writing workshop, I have been privy to the power of sharing. Students sharing with each other and the teacher sharing with students. Although I’ve shared my writing with my students on occasion, I have not done it consistently. That is changing this year. I have a student who is asking me to share my writing with him. He is relentless, but in a good way. Yet, I have been putting him off. I know. I know. It goes against everything I believe is important in writing workshop, yet I’m terrified to share my writing. With students and with other adults.
This summer I have committed to share more of my writing with others. To make my writing public. So far, so good. And, I know this step forward will have an as yet unknown but rippling effects on me as a writer.
Bring it on!
Crossposted to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Tuesday