Well, I started the school year with good intentions. I looked back often at the renewed page and the first post of the school year and I thought, “Wow, I really should work on this.” Guess what? I was right. I should do it. But is wasn’t until I was cleaning out my Google Reader that I came across this blog post by Karl Fisch. In this post Karl references Seth Godin’s post. (I had never heard of Seth Godin before.) But it was exactly what I needed. So here I am, in this post. Writing poorly in public (everyday).
In Seth’s post he talks about writers block.
Do it every day. Every single day. Not a diary, not fiction, but analysis. Clear, crisp, honest writing about what you see in the world. Or want to see. Or teach (in writing). Tell us how to do something.
Writers block has never been my problem. I have plenty of ideas to write about. That (his quote) has been my problem. Doing it everyday. I know, make it a priority. But I have a very full life now: a 1 year old, a significant other and his children, a house, a new job, and a long commute. But Karl’s post is what I have been wrestling with the day since I wrote the New Beginnings post. Who am I as a teacher of reading and writing if I don’t read and write?
It also matters for my students. Karl said:
I think we’re often overly concerned about the quality of our students’ writing, and whether it’s “good enough” to share. Now, to be clear, I think our students should be concerned with the quality of their writing, and should strive to get better at communicating their thoughts. But if we let the worry about what others will think get in the way of having our students write more, and for a larger audience, then we’re doing them a disservice out of fear.
That is something I struggle with; just having them publish their work in our room, let alone for the world. But I think there is great value in publishing to the world. What better validation and inspiration than to have someone who doesn’t know you relate to what you are writing and sharing. Not your teacher, not your mom, not your classmate. I have had my students maintain a blog before, but have kind of shied away from it for exactly that reason. Their writing is not perfect. Plus working with students whose second language is English just puts the spotlight more on what is wrong. But they have such great ideas and so much to say. So yes, they need to publish to the world.
So tomorrow’s post will be about my life as a reader because I am committing to writing poorly(and then not so much). In public. Everyday.