#TeachersWrite: The Best. Summer. Camp. EVER.

Greetings, Campers!! Well, I’m working reaaalllyyyy hard to take my own advice about getting off my butt and writing. Like Yoda said: “Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.” 

So. I am going to put my keyboard where my mouth is. I’ve been writing this week, not as much as I shoulda coulda woulda, but I’ve actually put words on paper. As in complete sentences and paragraphs! And that feels really good. I’ve also been talking shop this week with other writers on Twitter, Facebook, and right here on Micki’s Musings which has done wonders for me in terms of motivation and encouragement to get going and keep going.

Which brings me to something VERY exciting that came together this week as a result of a few casual conversations among some fellow teacher/writers I follow on Twitter. These teachers were talking about the very thing I was talking about in my previous post: finding more time to write and how our writing time as teachers always seems to get pushed off until those glorious months of summer.

Well, the fabulous Kate Messner, who is a well-established author of numerous books for kids, put some feelers out on Twitter to see if any of us teacher or librarian types (who also write) would be interested in participating in a virtual summer writing workshop. Several of us who follow Kate, enthusiastically said, “YES!!!!!” and off she went, planning away. She created this lovely little summer writing workshop she named #TeachersWrite.

Long story short, those of us who were interested took off with it, too. We retweeted on Twitter and shared links on Facebook. At last count, there were 570+ participants signed up. Kate was astonished. I was only a little surprised at that number, as I know there are many, many others out there like me who want to learn the secrets of balance. I will be sharing my progress on my current work in progress (WIP) as #TeachersWrite gets into full swing.

Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because there are LOTS of folks out there who, like me (and maybe even you), need a little nudge to get on the right writing track. I think it’s an amazing thing Kate is doing for us in helping us form our own writing communities and to help us become better writers and teachers of writing. I’m also sharing this with you because that’s what writers do: we support each other and promote each other. And I am, after all, a writer.

Welcome Back, Fryhover!

As part of my writer’s “training,” if you will, I became a member of the Kansas Writer’s Association (KWA) a few months ago. Of course I didn’t join solely for the “training.”  I joined partly as a result of gentle nudging from my good friend April, but also for the support, guidance, encouragement, networking, and friendship that was sure to follow. And also because I know myself, and I know I need to have a little accountability. I need to set goals and surround myself with other writers who will challenge me and give me a kick in the pants every so often and who will help me celebrate my successes. Even teeny tiny ones. Like writing this post.

This afternoon I attended the KWA Holiday Party and spent some time with my ever growing circle of writer friends. As I listened to them share their various successes, both professionally and personally, I was in awe of the sheer talent, determination, dedication, enthusiasm, and energy that filled the room. I felt inspired, and maybe a little guilty because I’ve been so neglectful to my own writing. When I decided to write this post, I could hardly believe it has been more than a month since I’ve posted anything. There seems to aways be something that stands in the way: several stacks of papers that need grading, lesson planning, Facebooking, dinner to make, episodes of NCIS to watch, the family to tend to…the list goes on and on. Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve added bits and pieces of various word counts to my WIP (work in progress) at the rate of about once a month thanks to my Newton Community Writing Group’s fearless leader, Mollie Sultenfuss, who gives us the gift of writing time whenever we meet as a group. Mollie, you’ve earned yourself a spot in my acknowledgements when I finally finish this novel and get published. You’ve got it black and white.

Unfortunately, dabbling with my WIP and only adding a few hundred to a thousand words a month will certainly not get me very far. I must, therefore, commit myself to write regularly and consistently. This will be much easier said than done, but Christmas break is just around the corner and so is a  opportunity for some marathon writing. My characters have been begging for some attention, and I can hardly wait to give them some.

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