Sunday, August 10, 2014

Teachers Write - Weekly Reflection #6

Welcome to our last week of Teachers Write! Where has the summer gone? I'm excited to have one more week to get through one more set of revisions of my novel. One more week to make the most of Teachers Write so that next week we can look back and reflect on all we have learned and can take back to students. This week, my reflection question asks you to think about who supports you in your writing.
It might have been when I was training for the Chicago Marathon or maybe when I was working on National Board certification, but at some point, I heard the advice to tell people what I had committed to. The idea is to let people know so it makes it official, so they can support you and so they might understand when you make choices to work towards your goal. 

I know some people who would prefer to keep their writing to themselves and never to admit what they are working on...and I totally get it. The first summer of Teachers Write when I was drafting, I distinctly remember sitting out on the driveway with all the neighbors and talking about how far along I was in my first draft. One of my neighbors asked me, "Do you really think you'll get published?" It sucked. It was such a crappy question to ask me. I'm happy to say that it wasn't one of those moments when you aren't sure how to respond. Of course, I was shocked that he would say that to me, challenge my dream, but I was able to tell him that I had no clue if I would ever get published but I did know that if I never tried, I sure wouldn't have a chance.

On Friday, before I settled in at Starbucks to work, I stopped in at the Lucy store a few doors down to see what was on sale. As I was checking out, I somehow ended up telling the saleswoman that I was working on a book. She asked me what it was about and I told her. She thought it sounded fun and wished me the best. Maybe I'm a little too open about my writing but for me, talking about it helps me keep going. But I wouldn't be as confident as I am - randomly talking about my writing with a stranger at a store - if not for first sharing my plans to write with family and friends.

Quite frankly, I have the hands-down best support group and I believe it started by sharing my goal to write with people who love me. By telling them that I am working on a novel, I gave them the opportunity to support me. Being vulnerable, sharing your hopes and dreams isn't always easy but it can be worth it. Sometimes I text friends when I've met a baby-step goal and need a virtual high five, sometimes I tell them my plan for the week and ask them to check in on me. It's great to be able to share my ups and downs and get encouragement from them. 

Being part of Teachers Write has given me the opportunity to connect with others who are writing, too. My family is supportive but it's great to also have friends who are writing and know a little more about what I'm feeling as I write and go through the process. The Teachers Write community is like a big support group. I'm so happy to be connected with other writers who can help me stay accountable to the writing I want to do and to be cheerleaders along the way.

Next week, we'll look back at what we've accomplished with Teachers Write and think about how this carries over into the school year once Teachers Write is over. Who are the people who supported you this summer and helped you believe in yourself as a writer? What support did they give you that truly made a difference? And how might you support student writers in a similar way?

Thank you again for being here this week and I hope you've found support by participating in Teachers Write and visiting me to check in every week!

My Teachers Write Weekly Recap:
This week I had hoped to get in 25 minutes of writing everyday but it didn't quite go as I had hoped. I was able to manage to get time to write on Friday night. I got to Starbucks around 5:00 p.m. and I worked until they closed at 11:00 p.m. It was amazing and I'm about halfway through this round of revisions. I'm hoping to have time today and then to work on 25 minutes everyday this week so I can chip away little by little to get this round done. Enjoy this last week of Teachers Write! I'll see you next weekend for our last Sunday Check-In! 

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.

Today, in the comments section:
Who supports you?
What support did they give you that truly made a difference? 
How might you support student writers in a similar way?
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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