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.