Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You can do it! Hang in there baby! And all that jazz.

I am excited to participate in Teachers Write virtual writing camp hosted by author Kate Messner. If you haven't heard about it, check it out! Join in! 

When do you write? This week's focus for Teachers Write is to really commit to finding time to write for yourself. 

I struggle with this. Reading today's Q & A post on Kate's site reminded me of why it's so difficult to find time. For me I constantly worry if what I'm writing is good enough. Kate pointed out that she plows through her first draft without trying to edit or reread it. The idea is to get it on paper. Even she questions if her work is good enough and she's a published author! So how does this relate to having time?? 

In my mind, if I knew I was writing the next Hunger Games trilogy I suppose that would be motivation to get myself out of bed and pound a few chapters out every morning. Of course I know that's one of my "inner vampires" as Michelle Ward would say. (I have to put a plug in for her every chance I get!) No one knows they're writing the next big thing...well, maybe some do, but J.K. Rowling didn't and Stephanie Meyer didn't and neither did E.L. James. 

I know this in my head and yet I drag. my. feet.

You're gonna eat lightnin' and you're gonna crap thunder!!
So here's my pep talk to myself:

Dear Jennifer,
     You have doubts about your writing. That's okay. The point is to write. Just get up and do it. You won't know what you really have until it's actually on paper. So stop judging yourself and get moving. It's time to do this thing. 
     The last three days you've been excited about writing and managed to crank out nearly an hour a day. Grab that momentum and hang on to it. 
     Remember how you wrote with your first graders this year?? In seven minutes a day you managed to fill 2 notebooks and you didn't even start until January. That's all...SEVEN MINUTES A DAY. Think of what you could do in 15 or 30 or...gasp! 60???
     Do it. It doesn't matter what time of day it is, but you know how you love that early morning quiet in the house?! That's probably the best time for you. Over the next few weeks there will be more alone time because the kids will be at camps. Use that time wisely. This summer is going to be your Summer of Writing. 
     Once school kicks back in you're going to have to grab that morning time or write when your students write. What could be better than for your students to see you struggling and celebrating right along with them?
     You can do it. Stick with it. Hang in there baby and all that jazz. 
Your Butt-Kicking Inner Voice


  1. Fabulous self-talk, and a letter is the perfect mode. I can actually see a story forming, one in which a protagonist gives herself pep talks about various things. Do you do this kind of talking w/ 1st graders? I teach seniors, primarily, so I'm pretty far removed from what happens in elementary schools. Good stuff.

    1. Midway through the year I read "No More I'm Done" and it sparked a better way of doing writers' workshop w/ my first graders. I always sat and wrote while they wrote. I guess I kind of talk like that to everyone...but myself! I bet seniors could write some great letters to themselves.

      Thanks for your comments! :)