Monday, March 31, 2014

The Habit of Writing

I've always heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  I'm not really sure if that is scientifically proven or not.  I'll probably go research it online a bit after I finish typing my blog post.  But I do know that spending 31 days in a row writing a blog post has been a fun, challenging, and positive experience for me.  Each day this month, after work, I knew that whatever else I had going on, I needed to commit to writing this blog post.  Why?  Because I committed to it.  I promised myself I would do it.  I wanted to truly follow through, and see the fruits of that commitment.  Part of what drove me to fulfill this commitment each day is simply that I am a perfectionist in many ways.  I didn't want to fail at something over which I had control.  Another part of it is that because my class is (unofficially) joining me in this writing challenge, I didn't want to let them down, either.  But another reason I wanted to stick with this writing challenge is that I wanted to integrate writing into my life the same way that I do reading.  I realized that I make reading a huge part of my daily existence.  It's almost as natural as picking up my toothbrush and brushing my teeth every day.  I don't even really have to think about it; it's a no-brainer. However, with writing, it seems to be more of a hit or miss situation for me.  In my classroom, we are committed to writing workshop, but the fluency piece of writing voraciously, and expecting my students to do so on a consistent basis is not yet on the same level as reading.  So, I wanted to make it happen -- to put it on the same level as reading.  I've always believed that reading makes one a better writer, and that writing makes one a better reader.  The two go hand in hand.  I feel I just needed to step it up a bit more.  And, I'm so glad I did.

From this writing challenge, I found that:
*Commitment to something new is sometimes difficult.
*Writing every day is a wonderful opportunity to express yourself.
*There is no right or wrong blog topic; writing from one's heart is the only requirement.
*Meeting new writers is a pleasure.
*Writing every day has made me want to write every day.
*Like brushing my teeth, I didn't always want to write these past 31 days, but doing so has been positive.
*Writing helps me process my thoughts on teaching reading and writing.
*This writing challenge has been a way to further bond with my students.
*Participating in this challenge has made me want to blog more often than I did before.

Thanks to all who participated in this challenge, and to the Two Writing Teachers, who hosted this challenge.  Since it is my first "Slice of Life" Writing Challenge, I was a bit nervous about doing so.  I'm so glad I participated, after being on the fringe for a couple of years before participating.  I learned a lot, met some new friends, related to others, and gained a new sense of appreciation for various types of writing.

Writing connects us as individuals.
Writing is a wonderful way to communicate.
Writing is freeing.
Writing gives us avenues for expressing ourselves to an audience.
Writing freely is therapeutic.

I like the quote by Sean Covey: "We become what we repeatedly do."  Some habits are positive; other habits are not beneficial.  Writing is a habit I look forward to doing more and more often.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't amazing how you can feel after undertaking something that at times can make you want to throw your hands up and quit? I too reflected on this journey today, how can you not, after experiencing something so gratifying and eye-opening. I hope that writing becomes more of a habit for you, I hadn't considered, like you, that reading is part of my daily life, so why not writing?

    Write On and Take Care.