That’s One Way: TeachWritetober2020

So. Here we are. Seven days in and seven days successful at showing up to write.

However, as I established in my last post, for me this month is about more than just showing up to write every day. I have personal goals to achieve and reflect on! Let’s take a look at where we are on day seven.

15 Minutes Daily Writing

I had a slow start to the month. On the first three days I wrote the bare minimum — that was all I could seem to manage. I have been doing better about actually notebooking with my students instead of taking care of what I like to call “teacher business.” It was something I was guilty of doing a lot in September, despite telling my students I would notebook every day. October is helping me get back to my original commitment and it helps that if I write with every class, because then I easily hit 15 minutes by the end of the school day.

The trouble, of course, comes with the weekend. Especially since this past weekend I did not have any Time to Write workshops to rely on for accountability purposes. However, I made it to at least 15 minutes and, starting this week, there has been an increase in writing time as I attend our regular workshop days and write during those times.

Accountability really does make a difference.

Updated Notebook Writing Tracker.

31 notes in 31 days

One aspect of my personal challenge that has helped is holding myself to 31 notes in 31 days. On the days where I didn’t feel like notebooking, or writing fiction, or didn’t have students writing with me — I wrote notes. I knew having this as a goal would help me show up to writing — because writing for others is not only fun, but I get the added joy of sending a little love out into the world.

As of this posting I have written 12 notes! Some notes I have left for teachers or administration at my school, while others I have mailed to my TeachWrite friends. I got positive responses from both groups and I’m excited to continue spreading the love. It made me feel good to know I was making others feel good. I should really print out the emails I received from some of the recipients.

I even used one day to write individual (sticky)notes to leave for students on their desks — but that felt a little like cheating (easily I see 30 students in a day). So, I only counted the whole class as as note towards my 31 count, instead of each individual student. It was fun to hear the students react to the messages — I even noticed today that one girl still had her note with her!

4000 Words of fiction

This goal caused me the most grief to start with, but once I sat down to write (I literally made a note to myself to commit to fiction that day) it came easily. Is it good? Probably not. But that’s not what is important right now. I remember not feeling especially motivated to do it — I think that was a reason I was putting it off — but I told myself what I always tell my students: just write.

This is my crappy first draft. I need to leave judgement and critiquing out of it. There were so many times I wanted to go back and edit or fix what I had already written — this is a story that has been on the shelf for some time — but each time I stopped.

Progress. Not perfection.

And so I wrote. And wrote some more. And do you know, I actually managed 1,877 words in the two writing times I dedicated to my fiction? I was shocked when I did the word counts! It was also reassuring to see that I COULD do it…once I showed up to the page.

Five Blog Posts

Which brings us to this, the second blog post in my #TeachWritetober20 series of blogs. I think it was a good call to use the blogs as another kind of accountability checker. I’m always asking my students to reflect and I think using this space to reflect on my own is helpful. You all left encouraging comments on my last post, which also helped motivate me and I can only hope you found inspiration for your own writing over the past seven days.

Even better? I jotted notes to myself in my notebook all throughout this week that I was able to use as a reminder for what I wanted to make mention of in this blog. Which is something ELSE I’m always encouraging my students to do.

I know we’re just on day 7 of 31, but I’m hopeful for the writing days to come and actually excited to press forward. I invite you all to continue forward with me as well.


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