Sunday, July 28, 2013

Teachers Write Sunday Check-In Week 5

Can you believe how far we have made it into our Teachers Write adventure?! How exciting to think of how far we have come and that we still have a few more great weeks ahead of us as well. I'm actually off today to a writing retreat with Brenda Power from Choice Literacy and other contributors to Choice Literacy. I'm over the moon to be able to have a few days to spend time with other fabulous writers and to have focused time for my own writing. It's been a crazy summer with taking two courses and starting a new job so I haven't written as much as I did last year. This week's writing tip is really exactly what I need to hear this week...so many of you seem to really be getting a lot of writing done but maybe now is the time to chose one piece to really focus on or time to push yourself to find a specific writing time or to up the amount of time your write a week. 
This summer, I've talked about making sure to write for yourself, about opening your eyes to ideas all around you, using some kind of writer's notebook and reading a lot...but I haven't really talked about writing just yet. And really, what it all comes down to is just writing. I know for me that it's important to just sit down and do it. Once I sit down, all of my thinking, planning and preparing does pay off because I can get it done once I sit down. So, enough excuses talking about writing, let's really get to it! 
Author, Jane Yolen, has a neat little Writer's FAQ page on her website where she shares her thoughts on writing. She reminds us of BIC - Butt In Chair. That's going to be my mantra for the week. I'm actually going to take a break from book reviews this week so I can spend time on my revisions and get into a groove. I'm not sure I've ever taken time off of blogging, I wish I had reviews planned out but since I don't, I'm going to not review for the week. It's scary to share this but I need to do this for myself so I hope readers understand. Eeee!
When it comes to getting my butt in a chair in front of my laptop, I know I do best in the morning when I'm fresh. I also know I love my laundry room when I'm at home. If I really want to get lost in my writing, it helps if I'm in my laundry room but I also love writing at Starbucks. Finding a time to write and a place to write that really works for me helps me a lot. Last year, I wrote first thing in the morning in my laundry room. This year, since I'm working on revisions, I almost feel like I would rather have nice long chunks of time to write. I may need to mix in my short morning writing sprints with some longer revising times.

I would love to hear your strategies for getting your butt in that chair! I was thinking a little incentive might be great, too...but after reading The Power of Habit this year, I wonder if I just need to set up a really great routine so my brain just wants to get to writing because that's what it knows. How awesome would that be? Do you reward yourself for writing? Or do you have a stellar routine that works for you?

My Teachers Write Weekly Recap:
This week, I didn't get to my goal of writing every day. I'm super bummed but part of me knew that I was going to the retreat today and knew I would really get to focus on my writing so I let myself not push myself to write. It's sad to look back and think of how little writing I did...but at the same time, I'd rather think about how I can be better this week than to dwell on the pit of last week.

For this upcoming week, I'm going to get as much done as I can at the retreat and then try to write first thing in the morning after I get back. I've been getting up around 5:00 to get to work early. If I work out at night and shower, then I can get up and write in the morning and then head off to work. We'll see if this works...but it feels amazing to have a plan. I'll have to see how things go and adjust next week. Instead of writing book reviews this week, I'm going to give myself that time to really focus on revisions. I'm actually really excited!

A reminder of my rules for Teachers Write Sunday Check-Ins:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we do.
2. We only offer constructive criticism.
3. We are positive and encourage each other at all times.
4. We recognize and maintain this as a safe environment.
**I reserve every right to put the smackdown
on anyone who messes with our positive energy.**

Today, in the comments section:
How do you get your butt in the chair?
Where do you like to write?
When do you like to write?
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the non-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-fun part?)
What are you looking forward to and planning for the week ahead?

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