Monday, June 4, 2012

Teachers Write

I am excited to get back into the habit of writing through Teachers Write. It's a virtual summer writing camp for teachers and librarians and I am sooooo glad that Kate Messner and her cohorts are offering us this fantastic opportunity.

Last summer I participated in a class called The Artist's Way. As members of the class, we were expected to write every morning for at least thirty minutes. This was part of exploring and expanding our inner creativity. We also got to have artist dates every week where we set aside at least an hour to create or appreciate art on our own. It was a fantastic experience for me. I enjoyed the writing and I especially loved having an excuse to go off with my camera taking pictures or making a collage from images out of magazines. It was like getting to be a kid again without all of the negative filters that I had built up over the years.

This led me to be open to National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo when it was mentioned on Twitter. I had heard about it the year before and thought it sounded cool, but this time, it actually sounded possible. Writing 50,000 words in one month was a pretty huge undertaking for me as I have never really written anything beyond an article or a very short story. The guidelines were perfect though. We were to write without editing. To write in a flow of words. No filters. Exactly what I needed to do. It helped that my teenage daughter agreed to do it with me and that we found a local group that met once a week. I loved working at a table with a bunch of other people struggling through the same task at different speeds and working in wildly different ways. It helped that we had live jazz music, super yummy crepes and chai lattes available too. We ate, laughed, and vented together all month long. The minute I finished though, I saved the file and never touched it again from November until today, when I finally shared it with six young ladies who were convinced that they needed to read their teacher's book no matter how boring or silly it might be.

Coincidentally, today is also the first day of Teachers Write. I am once again working amongst a large group of people with the common goal of tapping into our creativity and writing something. We aim to push at our self-imposed boundaries in spite of the vulnerable feelings we might experience. With this challenge, I hope to remember what it feels like to be a student in language arts class being asked to write to a prompt. I also hope to remember how good it feels to express myself and tell a story and I would love to find my writing voice. I have been blogging for awhile now and am beginning to know my non-fiction voice a little, but I am way more uncertain about my fiction voice.

I am once again on a new adventure. I can't wait to see where this leads.

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