Gains and Losses

Like so many of you, I can’t help but make this post a reflection on all I’ve learned in the past month. I feel a bit like I’m cheating, like I should summon some story about my day, but this, this is what’s on my mind as we reach the last day of this practice.

 

I’ve gained an appreciation for the comment that reaches beyond the content and pushes into the craft. You’ve pushed me, challenged me, and validated me.

I’ve lost any lingering belief that we write for ourselves. Every single comment I got buoyed me and gave me energy to write more.

I’ve gained empathy for the classrooms full of kids who say, “I don’t know what to write!” Writing at a prescribed time, every day, is HARD WORK, and some days, it seems like there’s nothing to say.

I’ve lost my slightly vicious self-editor. The voice in my head that said that my writing wasn’t good enough. Some days, I write just to practice writing, without demanding it be good.

I’ve gained energy, not just for writing but for so much in my life. Engaging in a challenge, something hard but attainable, has filled me up with the fire to do more challenging, attainable things.

I’ve lost patience for teachers who think they don’t need to write to teach writing. Most of the other excuses I can hear the challenges with, but the hubris to think that there’s nothing to learn by writing everyday – that is under my skin.

I’ve gained respect for the community of educators. Knowing that all these readers and writers are out there, engaging in the same work I am, on behalf of themselves and their kids, has been inspiring.

I’ve lost the need to think about writing narrative so narrowly. I’ve seen so many forms of writing this month that remind me there are ways to hook anyone into writing an entry.

 

Thank you, thank you, Stacey and team, thank you, thank you, readers, thank you, thank you, commenters, thank you, thank you, writers.

I am transformed.

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6 thoughts on “Gains and Losses

  1. Adrienne, this is a thought-provoking and beautiful retrospective today. I loved how you alternate between insight and practicality. Inspiring to read your ideas — they so much echo with my own. You are right about this challenge: it does give us new appreciation for our students who write each day.We just keep going back to what we know about and care about to build pieces whose significance lasts far beyond a unit of study or point in time.You make an excellent point — sometimes we just have to write…even it if isn’t the best thing ever. We just do it, like Anne Lamott says, as a pianist who practices scales. Congratulations on slicing this month! It’s been a pleasure learning with you! 🙂 b

  2. This sums it up just right. Really I think of all the pieces I’ve read of yours this could be one of the most well done. Your inner voice and ability to cut through the bs has been refreshing. Here, “I’ve gained an appreciation for the comment that reaches beyond the content and pushes into the craft. You’ve pushed me, challenged me, and validated me. I’ve lost any lingering belief that we write for ourselves. Every single comment I got buoyed me and gave me energy to write more.” is my fav. But all the lines really ring so true. Thank you for letting me your reader. I hope to continue to see you on Tuesdays! I’ll be there waiting!

  3. Such an honest slice. The back and forth of lost and gained was very effective.

    “I’ve gained energy, not just for writing but for so much in my life.” I LOVE this line. It does change more than yourself as writer! Beautifully stated!

  4. Writing every day does help put us in touch with what it must feel like to be a student who just can’t pull that subject from his brain. Letting him know that we, as adults, have also dealt with that struggle is, I’m sure, comforting…kind of. Thanks for your comments and slices this past month.

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