We are four days until the end of the March challenge. This month as gone by similar to my last year. The feeling of time moving way too fast and way too slow. I am always grateful for this month of writing. I often find my writing here on the blog beginning to slip as the year travels on. So by the time we have reached January of a new year I am barely writing.
March challenge give me a push to begin again. It allows me to again feel the power of putting words to paper/screen. Some years I feel I have had powerful topics to write about. There was so much happening in my life. The years when I was teaching, kids were home or close to home. Those years always provided food for thought and words for the page.
This year was quiet for many reasons.
This year for the first time since I was very young I was not working outside of the home. No paycheck here. It is a good thing really. I choose to let my part time job at a school go just as the pandemic got started. The school budget really could not handle the extra pay they were giving me. So I stepped down to let someone who needed a full time job help fill in their time. (Well, that all went crazy since my job was testing and there was no real testing this last year.) Less words when there are less interaction with work friends.
This year my son and wife returned to NYC so we were/are tracking their lives through FaceTime and not the person to person we had before. I also track them through Instagram when they post. It gives us a small window into their lives but once again less words with less personal interaction.
This year the pandemic hit and our friend group suddenly stopped. We were all pretty good at zoom meeting for the first few months but over the year we all tired of looking at screens. (especially those who were still working and this was their main source of work as well). There are a few of us who are still checking in through FaceTime or Zoom but the rest have dwindled to a few emails and text messages just to keep each other posted. Less personal interaction and less words.
It becomes clear with this writing here on the blog I often based my words on my interaction with people. It is not that I only write about the experience with people but it is the people who bring in new ideas, new thoughts or reflections. Conversations stimulate thinking and lead to reading or exploration of different thoughts or different perspective. For me it leads to more words – more ideas to think about and write about.
Interesting with this reflection that I find I do not write about all the reading I do. Maybe it is that this type of writing shows up in my personal journal. A personal reflection of thoughts and feelings. This is something to explore for myself as we move past this monthly challenge and into the weekly Tuesday Slice of Life.
Questions for me to think about my in regards to my writing:
- What is the focus of my blog?
- What topics or content do I write about?
- Is my writing only people interaction based? it that a true statement?
- Do I write about my reading and thinking in my personal journal?
As usual with my blogging free writes (a bit like morning page – begin and see where you end up)changed from what I was thinking I was writing about to a wider topic of my writing in general. I began this post thinking it would be a short reflection on this months challenge. Instead it became a reflection about the way I writing and how I find topics/content for my blog or my personal journal. Interesting how writing can take you places you did not plan on going.
It is interesting how my writing seems very different when writing on a screen for others and writing in my notebook for personal use. Yeah, I expected the personal writing to have more feelings and some emotions that would not be public but it is deeper than that. I have large sections about books I have read – not book reviews just my thinking. I have other sections about topics I find important to remember – Black Lives Matter, Integration, Schools, voting and politics. I wonder why those thoughts and ideas do not surface here on these pages. Is this a conscious choice, just chance?
Lots to think about –
Do you ever take time to think about what you write and why? This might be a good discussion with students. Why do we write and what value does it bring to you?
For me this March challenge showed me where I was struggling with topics and how I have been dependent of my people interaction to help me with topics. It will be interesting to go back now and look to see if this is true.
What do I really write about????
How about you? What did you learn this month about your writing? What do you write about? Do you keep a personal journal as well as your blog?
Does your blog have a focus or is it a free write – really a Slice of Life?