So what has been holding me back?...
Those words are ringing in my ear, as a trained Reading Recovery teacher, we sometimes use those words to help one another puzzle out what is in the way of a reader’s progress. Now I ask myself, what has been getting in my way of starting a blog? It isn’t that I don’t have a desire to write. So why? The obvious reason is the fear of technology. How could I possibly set up and manage a blog? But when I dig a bit deeper I know that it is much more and here is the brain bounce going on inside my head:
Fear. Someone might read this blog. Well yes, otherwise why start it?
It feels so permanent once you post. You can change your ideas at any time. (I even had to be sure I could change the name of the blog before I could commit!)
Who cares what I have to say. While that is true, the reader has a choice.
So if I was having these thoughts, why am I doing it?
Luckily for me, my counter-thoughts won out. Lately I have had a nagging deep in my gut to write. I really felt that this could help me sort out some of my thinking. Then I started thinking about how once you say something and others respond you stretch, confirm your thinking or start anew – by putting it out here others may respond and help me to reach.
Luckily for me, I have read countless blogs, many from friends who I admire as people and teachers. Their words inspire me; their book talks guide me. And when I was ready to jump they all took the time to help and encourage me.
Luckily for me, Ruth Ayers was a featured speaker at the Dublin Literacy Conference. As I prepared for the conference I ran across the Daily Slice of Life Challenge. I tried to join. No luck. I attended one of her breakout sessions (which by the way was one of the best examples of sharing the thinking process I have ever experienced. But that can be an entire blog or two on its own!) I learned that to join I had to have a blog! Ah, the very push I needed.
So, what does it all mean for me as a teacher? Will I be more sensitive to the writers I work with each day? That child who is hesitating to pick up the pencil and write today, perhaps he is having a brain bounce too. Nothing to say, not sure what direction to go or asking who would want to read this writing? How will I honor that writer?
Sharing. Perhaps the idea of sharing causes pause or panic, even though the classroom is a safe environment, and a strong community. What will I do to honor this writer and help set her into motion?
The idea that once it is on paper it is permanent. What do I do to show writers that it is okay to change our thinking even if it was once put to paper?
And now, for the last lesson learned as I stepped into the blogging world and 30 day challenge. I needed a blog title. I reach out to bloggers and they sent ideas. One friend asked why I had not ask my daughter for help? So I call my youngest and tell her all the ideas that my friends have given me. And before I know it she is texting me wildly. Suddenly we have a name. But then I learn I need a description. WHAT? It took forever to come up with a name! Again, I reach out to my daughter and read my draft, my daughter then says, and perhaps this is the biggest lesson of all, “Mom relax, just be yourself and have fun.”
Ah, yes, writers need to be themselves, to have fun; writers need safe places to share when they are READY to share! Writers need a trusting community. Thank you for being my cyber community. I know I am safe. I know I am surrounded by teaching friends, writers and readers. I can be myself. Now, what will I do to support the young writers in my life so they will feel the same?