OLW – One Little Word Revisited

Last year I used the word developing, the year before was breathe and before that I was using developing also. I had thought I was going to stay with developing since that seems to be what I am doing. It is a slow process. Change can happen fast when pushed from the outside but when you are making internal changes they are slow to grow and take time – years in fact. It takes years to develop bad habits and years to correct them. Well, at least for me.

In the act of wanting a new word for 2018 I chose to use evolve. It is closer to what I was imagining. The idea of continuing to learn, to expand ones knowledge, to promote growth is what I had in mind. I wanted to grab hold of the idea of continued growth – the life long learner. I want to take the skills I have and hone them into a well learned craft or skill.

So how are things going you ask?  My first response is I have a long ways to go. It is always easiest for me to see where I want to be and very hard to see what I have learned or how I have grown or changed. Our personal learning happens over time and it become a part of who we are which is great. It also means we don’t always see the changes we have made. It takes a bit of reflection or comments from friends to really see where we have evolved.

There are little changes – like how I eat. I have always eaten pretty well but now I realize I have really moved away from sugars, colas – the carbs that we all seem to crave. Now when I eat them I wonder why and realize one bite is really all I want, just a taste. I prefer to turn to nuts, veggies and a bit of protein and I am good to go. A small but great evolution in my eating.

My garden work and learning is on going – it always will be. I realize though that when I am reading garden books I know the biology of plants more, I recognize the Latin names a bit more or I understand the plant parts more without having to look them up. It takes time unless you are taking a class and forcing the learning through testing. (No, I am not interested in learning in that way any longer.)  I like reading and learning as I go. Although I realize finding a mentor or volunteering in a more formal garden might help me learn a bit faster.  So it is on the list of things to think about and find.

Writing is another place of evolving and I have to say that area has been sitting in a dark room not going any place – no evolution happening. I write my blog post once a week – well most weeks but it is the writing of fiction that I wanted to learn and now fear in some way. I know fear is a strong word and I was hesitant to use it but it fits. I have a children’s novel partially written then got stuck. Now a good year or more later I am still stuck. I am hiding in that dark room because I don’t know how to move forward. I can’t find the door to let in the light and air that I need to be able to write. The story line has come to an end in the middle of a plot.

I know as a writer I could put it away and start something new. I could re write the first chapters with the idea that it might spur me on. I could have others read it and give suggestions. ( I have done that one.) But for some reason I just keep coming back to the fact that I am not a writer. There is this feeling that I am a sham really. I am just hiding behind these quick and easy blog post but when it comes to the “real” work I can not convince myself that I can write – that I can take the novel and finish it. I can’t find the core. The heart is missing and I don’t know how to kick start it again. I can’t find the middle of my story and so there is no end. The door is closed.

So I am still evolving – we all are evolving – that is a good thing. I focus on my garden learning, my health and good eating. I keep myself busy with house hold download-2.jpgtasks and finishing projects like quilts and knitting that were started long ago but lurking in the dark corners of my computer and my mind is a piece of writing unfinished, and untouched for now. I am hoping that with time something will create a crack in the door that is shut so tightly right now – letting in a bit of new air and light so that I can try again.

I would like to find the writer in myself. I would like to become a story teller, a person who can share words with others in a longer format than 800 words of a blog post. Sometime I wonder if I am to old – to inclosed in my retired life to make the connections to the young students who zip around me.

I am in the stage of doubt, the writing naysayers have won for now and the writing sits waiting.

We will see we have six more months of 2018 maybe something will evolve.



About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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9 Responses to OLW – One Little Word Revisited

  1. arjeha says:

    The thing about evolving or developing is that it is an ongoing process, one that never reached a conclusion because there is always something new happening. What a great word and a way of life. May you always continue to evolve.

  2. I love your OLW because it is really about what we are always doing! Yet, your connections to your writing, your garden…..are about “accomplishing” things. I wonder if your word might lead you to new interests, new writing topics, new garden plants in the months to come?????

  3. bevbaird says:

    As you said – we are evolving. I know I am. I am trying to be that writer I wish to be. Joanne – you are a writer. Just write. I know I have to do that. Butt in chair. Let’s cheer each other on. We can do this!

  4. Ramona says:

    I think moving away from sugars, colas, and carbs is no small thing. You should be patting yourself vigorously on the back for that accomplishment. Evolving is a great word that gives you room to grow and grace to find your writing voice when the time is right.

  5. Reflection is incredibly challenging, and to stretch that goal over a whole year?? Impressive. I think that you picked the perfect word. ❤️

  6. ureadiread says:

    Doubt seems to follow us all, but keep looking for the light around the edges of that door…or crawl in through a window. You are a writer. Chisel away bit by bit at the walls you think are holding you back from the writing you want to do. Just a little at a time like everything evolves. Best wishes.

  7. Terje says:

    Evolve is a good word to guide you. You have made some great progress. Keep experimenting with the writing, play, breathe, write word by word. Maybe the writing evolve is not so much in the amount of text but rather showing more self-compassion for yourself as a writer.

  8. It’s that one little word that helps us focus and keeps us anchored. My word this year is proud. In this instance I offer it to you. Be proud of how far you’ve come in your own evolution and don’t be too hard on yourself.

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