This new journey in writing...

Yesterday's post wasn't the introductory post I had envisioned. I thought my first post would state why I was joining this crazy challenge, who I am as a writer and what I believe. I always tell my students to "write what's in your heart", that's not what was in my heart yesterday so it didn't get written.

Last weekend at the Dublin Literacy Conference, Ruth Ayers talked about this Slice of Life Challenge. I'd seen posts from other people but didn't really know anything about the project. Ruth challenged us to write something of our life once a day for 31 days. I'm not really a writer. I always have tons of ideas swirling around in my head but never seem to be able to get them organized or communicate them as clearly as I want. I'm nervous about writing. Writing puts you out there, vulnerable, your thoughts floating around for others to read and know.

During her keynote Donalyn Miller said reading is the inhale and writing is the exhale. I really like inhaling but what if the exhale is in the morning and it's a combination of morning breath, peanut butter and coffee? Inhaling is safe.

Then Ruth talked about how if we need to be readers to teach reading (yes, I love reading!), then we need to be writers to teach writing (wait a second..that makes too much sense but I don't like it). Ruth got me thinking about my writing life. I write lists (ooohh how I love a list), tweets, thank you cards, the occasional blog post, emails to parents, notes on students, and emails to friends and family. I ask my students (5 and 6 year olds) to write everyday for 20-30 minutes. I might be doing that per week.

This brings me to the tweets about supporting each other on this writing journey. I really think it's important for me to be a writer if I'm going to teach it but man, is it hard. With the support from my friends I can do this challenge and just maybe in the end I will have become a better writer.

Yesterday I wrote about the heartbeat I was feeling about a very special family moving. The post didn't come out quite like I'd hope but the comments made me smile all day. Ruth also spoke about how feedback keeps her kept me going yesterday. Thank you for your kind words and helping me get through the day. I can take another step forward in this writing journey.

Here's to a new journey....

*also told myself I can't read SOL posts unless I write my own. I love reading them too much not to write :-)


  1. Nicole, I am proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and trying this. I love to write, but I also have anxiety about sharing what I write. I recently read some quotes from some very famous authors who revealed their own fears about writing (mostly about facing the blank page). If I can find that site again, I'll send you the link. It helps to know we're all in this together!

  2. Nicole, I think your "exhale" is written from your heart. Peanut butter and coffee mask anything, even morning breath! :) Great slice.

  3. Nicole, like Tracy, I love the peanut butter, coffee and morning breath line! And if it's any comfort, I agree with you- writing is really, really scary stuff1

  4. Simple definition of a writer: One who writes. Let the reader figure out the rest. BTW, great take on exhalation anxiety. You MUST be a writer if you're feeling that. :-)


  5. First of all, let me say that I don't read my comments either until I've posted. You're right - it's way too tempting.

    Second, I loved your post yesterday. It touched a chord inside of me, and more importantly, you obviously needed to talk about it.

    Your post today could be describing me. I do need to lead a writer's life as well. I'm so glad we're on this journey together.

  6. Nicole,
    I love this post because you did exactly what you tell your young writers to do, you wrote from the heart. Like you, I'm always a little nervous about my writing. There's something about putting something out there that makes it permanent. I'm always changing my thinking so I'm not crazy about having things out in the world in a permanent way.

    These two lines really caught me:
    that's not what was in my heart yesterday so it didn't get written
    Inhaling is safe

    Like you, I'm looking forward to the challenge to get myself into the routine of writing. I think it is important to write if we're going to teach writing. Having this community to support us is much like the community we create in our classrooms. Together we can do it.



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