Sunday, August 11, 2013

Teachers Write Sunday Check-In Week 7

Teachers Write is winding down but it doesn't mean we have to stop writing! All summer, I've shared tips and ideas for organizing writing, jotting down ideas, and getting serious about writing. As you've shared your peaks and pits, it's clear that some weeks were better for us writing-wise than others. I know I've had weeks where I get a lot of momentum and other weeks where I so wish I could have done more. It's pretty easy to see how writing in our lives ebbs and flows. And that's okay. But I do think we have to think about our hopes and dreams for ourselves as writers so no matter what, we do come back to our writing.

My tip this week is to keep going! This is the time to just keep going! But where are we headed? What are your dreams for yourself as a writer? What brought you to writing in the first place?

We have to keep our dreams in mind and hang onto them, remembering how we feel when we get words on the page and how we get closer to our dreams as writers. Keeping hold of our dreams helps us find ways to always get back to our writing. Langston Hughes is one of my favorite poets. I adore his poem Dreams because I truly believe in the power of dreams.
In my heart, I have a dream of being a published author, seeing my name on the cover of novels and sharing my love of writing with readers in that way. I write to express myself and share my ideas with anyone who will read what I've written. I love telling stories and have really fallen in love with personal narrative and fictional narrative. Last summer, as I was working on the first draft of my current WIP, I remember a neighbor questioned me, "Do you really think you'll ever get published?" That question stung because it made me feel like I was chasing a pipe dream. Of course, I know how hard it is to get published and how much it really is a dream that I'm following, but his question made me feel like my dream wasn't worth pursuing because the likelihood of ever getting published was so slim.

Well, you know what I said? It doesn't matter if I never get published. It doesn't matter if the only people who ever read my book are my friends and family who indulge me. It honestly doesn't matter. I'll try my hardest and do my best to make my dreams come true but it's more about writing the story and making it work, stretching myself as a writer and not giving up that really counts. Life's just not as fun if we don't find the hope to dream and hold onto making those dreams happen. And if I don't ever write the book, of course it never stands a chance.

If we don't have dreams, then we don't have much. We have to dream it to believe it, right? I say be open to dreams, grab onto those dreams, love and nurture those dreams. Keep going and don't give up! (And if you need a little help and encouragement along the way, be sure to reach out to me and other Teachers Write friends! We're here for you!)
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:
What keeps you going?
How do you keep motivated?
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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