Writing Because…

One of the reasons I appreciate the opportunity to lead professional development is I get to continue pushing myself to new understandings and deeper learning. Every time I speak or work with a group of teachers, I gain a clarity and energy for teaching writers. When this doesn’t happen, when my learning ceases, when I’m burned out, I’ll know it’s time to do something different.

This week I’m returning to the basics of teaching writers. I’m remembering why I choose writing workshop. I’m considering how to honor and empower writers. I’m thinking about my core beliefs. I’m solidifying my belief in being a teacher who writes. I’m spending time reflecting, and I’m learning.

I’m reminded of the importance of writing just because.

If I were to make a list of words to describe my current writing life, these words would show up:

  • driven
  • effective
  • focused
  • determined
  • strict

It’s not necessarily a bad list of words to describe a writing life. The problem isn’t about the words that are on the list. The problem is about the words not on the list. Here are my missing words:

  • discovery
  • excitement
  • unexpected
  • imperfect
  • surprising

I’ve not been taking the time to write just because. I’m so focused on the tasks, on the projects, that I’ve lost sight of some of the key reasons I love to write. Don’t get me wrong, I love productivity. I think it’s fun to churn out projects. But I also know there is power in writing just because. There is power in finding meaning in the insignificant moments. I’m missing out on the bits of treasure in my life because my writing life has become so single-minded.

Starting tonight, before I go to bed, I’m writing just because. I’m going to collect the insignificant  I’m going to write thoughts simply because they skip across my mind. I’m going to put words on the page in the hopes of stumbling across a surprise. I want to find the unexpected.

I’m glad to be part of a workshop where we’ve taken the time to think deeply about learning to write. Tonight I’m reclaiming a bit of my writer self.