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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Day 1 of 31 #SOL16


Human minds yield helplessly to the suction of story. No matter how hard we concentrate, no matter how deep we dig in our heels, we just can’t resist the gravity of alternate worlds. ~Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal
It was December 28, 2010, when I wrote my first slice. I have to say it was a life-changing moment. I had no idea it would be so meaningful. There were fourteen links in the comments that day. I didn't really know what I was doing yet, but I already felt like part of something special. Today as I visit the blog there are already 159 links and there will be lots more before the day is over. At that time, I did not identify with the word writer. I had always enjoyed writing. All through school I liked the process but it hadn't necessarily gone well for me and I didn't have great experiences to associate with writing, but I didn't hate it. Funny, when I think back now, how things would change over these past five or six years. I have to admit that some days my well of words is fuller and on others feels dry, as though a drop of words never resided there. I think this is how most writers feel. I think it is why, we, as teachers value this experience each year. Watching myself struggle is the single most powerful tool as a writing teacher I have ever experienced. I have great days, good days, and terrible days as a writer. I watch this same thing happen every day with my students. Yesterday, one of my students proudly came up to me with her four-page realistic fiction story. She said to me, "I had no idea I could do that!" I responded by saying, "Well, you are a writer you know?" What an amazing accomplishment for her. At that moment, it was about quantity for her, but within that moment, she felt like a writer. That very feeling is something that can be built upon. When you do something you never knew possible, it creates a realization and a curiosity about what else could be possible. What else am I missing? What risks should I be taking? Doing this challenge helps me see what I am missing. It allows me to visit alternate worlds of others through their stories and share a piece of my world with all of you. It really is an astounding feeling and I am so humble, proud, and thankful to be a part of it.  

16 comments:

  1. So proud of the risks you took (and the ones your students are taking because you are an excellent role model for them) back in December 2010! I'm delighted to call you my co-blogger and friend.

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  2. Today seems like a day of reflection for many. I love the idea of thinking back to where it all started and noticing, or maybe better yet, appreciating, where we were and where we are now. So much has happened since 2010...it makes me wonder what will happen in the next few years? Here's to the next 30 days of writing and wherever that takes us after.

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  3. I loved your post, Betsy. Not sure I am ready for this, but I like the feeling of being "open":)

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  4. I had no idea that I'd be starting my sixth year of writing when I began. I love the idea of the word well, sometimes overflowing, other times dried up. I hope your well is primed and ready for a busy month.

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  5. I love the line that says Doing this challenge helps me see what I am missing. I so agree!

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  6. I enjoyed your reflections, Betsy. You are so right...It is amazing to "visit" the worlds of others through their stories!

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  7. I agree! I'm so glad you convinced me to take the challenge the last couple years have been healing, learning, discovering and yes sometimes discouraging but a great journey never the less. Thanks for giving me the nudge I need!

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  8. Visiting those alternate worlds really is life-changing, I agree. And it does cement the idea that anything is possible. So glad you are here, Betsy & that we've connected outside of blogging a couple of times, too. Have a great month!

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  9. Betsy, its so funny because this challenge literally changed my life, too. And having empathy for my students - for the good times and the bad - is the thing I love most about becoming a writer, too.

    Here's to the 9th Annual!

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  10. "Watching myself struggle is the single most powerful tool as a writing teacher I have ever experienced. I have great days, good days, and terrible days as a writer. I watch this same thing happen every day with my students" - your well of words may be dry some days, but not today. Powerful message!!!

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  11. It is such an amazing community. It has made me feel more like a writer than writing a book did. I think it is the community and the response. It has truly changed me - I wrote about that on Sunday - similar post to your post. I look forward to connecting this month.
    Clare

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  12. "...the suction of story." What a delightful phrase. It's so fun to visit bloggers I've know for awhile and brand new slicers too. We all started once upon a time and it's fun to remember when.

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  13. You said it so well, Betsy! There is something special about this writing community. Writing helps us focus on the process so that we become better teachers of writing. Thanks for all you do!

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  14. It is really interesting how something that starts small can grow so easily and mean so much to many people.

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  15. You are a great inspiration to me! I'm so glad I started blogging with Two Writing Teachers' support. This IS a great place to be, and I thank you for your continued support of all of our efforts!

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  16. Stacey,
    I am so proud to have you as a friend, a former roomie, the BEST roomie, I might add, and of course co-author of TWT! Love taking risks, most turn out just great!

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