Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Slice of Life- Writing begets writing
Every Tuesday, the writing community of Two Writing Teachers hosts Slice of Life. All are welcome to participate by linking up posts or commenting on other participants.
Eighteen years ago, my friend Heather theorized to me that "sleep begets sleep." In my sleep-deprived state, I'm surprised I remember the phrase so vividly except that it struck a loud and shrill chord with me. She had her first baby five weeks before I had my second daughter. Her daughter took two long naps and slept through the night. My Julia did. not. sleep. Fast forward eighteen years, and Julia is home from college for a few days, and she is sleeping.
I am writing.
This morning, I read through other people's posts from a weekend writing retreat we shared (shout out to Tara and Clare and Tammy), and I'm thinking about how writing begets writing. It's funny how the more I write, the more I have to write. I am in the middle of a program for my MFA in creative writing, I blog a lot, I am working on a nonfiction piece for the state social studies department, and I am constantly writing for classroom demonstration. When I sit with my fingers on the keys and a cup of coffee by my side, I rarely struggle with not having anything to write; my struggle is more about what piece to work on.
What I'm really wondering is how we duplicate this sort of sensation in writing classrooms. I've always been a big believer in volume. When children write a lot, they don't get so attached to a piece that they refuse to return to it and work on it. They also develop courage to start new pieces since they aren't so worried about ever finishing it. With the phrase "writing begets writing" at the forefront of my brain, I think there's also a mindfulness and a belief in myself as a writer when I'm in the habit of writing. Writers spend life capturing words, and it becomes a practice that lives healthily beyond desks and classrooms and the comfortable chairs where we write.
I'll be percolating these thoughts over the next week--hopefully there will be more to come about it, and I look forward to reading comments and insights about how writing energy generates and perpetuates itself within individual writers and writing communities.
All good things,