Pretty amazed at myself. 61 days of writing on this blog: 31 for March Slice of Life and 30 for April’s National Poetry Writing Month [NaPoWriMo NPM19]
Sometimes I needed to plan ahead and schedule my posts, especially in March.
Sometimes I began the day wondering what I’d find.
Soon I began looking for the interesting– the interesting in the everyday.
And I found myself finding prompts, but even for prompts, just knowing that writing about something was now a part of my day, resulted in more noticing. Noticing nature, noticing decor, noticing smiles, noticing the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Noticing: what we notice gives us direction and feeds our minds. The choices we make can create the world we want. And when the world around us contradicts that, the noticing can sustain our hope.
I wandered over to another blogger who has accepted the same challenges in March and April. Kim Douillard reflected on her sixty days of writing, and I appreciated her way of thinking.
Two things stood out in her reflection that I also find are true:
“Once they push past the idea that “done” is the goal, they are willing to rework their writing, especially when they have specific techniques to experiment with and concrete feedback to focus the reworking.”
Kim’s teaching strategies and modeling help her young students see themselves as writers — writers who carefully choose their words and help each other to make just the image with words that they want to share with their readers. In her posts, you can see they’ve grown past “done” to “Look what I’ve done!” and “Look what we’ve done!”
They, too, are noticing things around the world and are moving into expressing ways to improve it through their poetry following Kim’s teaching strategies to help them notice the world as is and as they want it. [See “paint-chips-and-usvshate”.]
“The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile. Robert Cormier”
When thoughts are written down, writers can come back to it years later and revise again. Or rework the idea into another form. And play with the words so they have more meaning. Writing every day frees up our thoughts and gets them down for just that kind of reworking when the moment and the purpose arise, sometimes years later. But it’s there, waiting.
In my “A Poem About School,” I revisited an old poem. I wrote about how our writings are “traces of spaces between thinking and doing.” Writing our thoughts and stories help us form our ideas and our beliefs, and those help us take steps with our words and our actions to make the world better around us. Our words support us and create the vision that is worth reviewing and building on in our connections and conversations with others. We can return to them and renew them, and we can be ready with fresh ideas when a moment in time and in our life calls on us to create more and do more.
I think it’s important to remember, too, that our ideas and beliefs change as we learn and grow through the clarification that writing brings to our connections and experiences in life. We must be ready to accept that one thought today may be the step towards a new idea the next. As we consider what we learn, we see more clearly into the confusions of the world, and while we hold to what is important to us, we also learn to accept others’ views. We don’t have to agree with them, but we learn that differences are ways to know the world. That helps us be ready for change, be accepting of change, and be cognizant of the wonders of our differences.
I’m ready. Ready to continue to notice the interesting and hopeful, and to be ready for things that confuse.
I’m ready to continue writing and drawing and learning. I’m ready to leave traces of my spaces. How about you?
Thanks, Kim, for your inspiration.