Sunday, December 1, 2013
My Lost Writing Life
I have fallen away from writing. That's very sad to me, because it used to be such a huge part of my life. There were days when I wrote in a journal for pleasure ... recording memories, creating poetry and saving thoughtful meanderings. Something shifted in my life, and I began to write on demand rather than for myself. It was just life - my job as an elementary principal, coauthoring three books with Franki Sibberson, articles for Choice Literacy. I loved the professional writing that I was doing, but I neglected my writing roots. It is something I regret and hope to change.
While I still enjoy writing for a purpose, I find that it requires a more focused approach to writing. Who is my audience? What am I trying to say? Will readers understand what I am thinking? Is my writing worth reading? Is my writing as crafted as it could be? There is a sort of tension in the act of this kind of writing. I will continue to write professionally, but I need to reach back into my writing life.
I miss the days when I captured thoughts in my journal - just because I loved doing it. No one was going to read my writing unless I decided to share it. The focus was on discovering my thoughts and letting them spill out on the page. Sometimes, I crafted a memory I didn't want to lose. Sometimes, I didn't discover my topic until I started scribing the words on the page - a journey of discovery. Sometimes, I would play with words or write down a quote that captured my thinking. Sometimes, I pasted items into my journal - a fortune from a fortune cookie, an article from the newspaper, a snapshot, or a sketch. And there was something about writing with a pencil in my notebook rather than word processing on the computer. It's difficult to explain but my pencil scratching the page cannot be replaced by a keyboard. Thinking about the beginnings of my writing journey brings me comfort. I need that sense of writing back in my life.
So when I heard about #nerdlution and the public commitments folks were making on Twitter, I decided that writing in my notebook each day might be a great goal to bring me back to the joy of writing. (See the post from Franki Sibberson on Year of Reading to find out more about #nerdlution.)
I recently retired from my dream job as an elementary principal. I used to say that I never had time to eat right and exercise. Well, now I have no excuse. Enough said.
So here are my goals for the 50-day Nerdlution:
Goal #1 - write in my notebook for pleasure each day
Goal #2 - eat right and exercise each day
I will join others posting on Twitter (#nerdlution) to keep myself accountable. Wish me luck.