Thursday, May 31, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again!!

In case anyone out there is just as behind in their Bloglines as I am and hasn't noticed - I've been a little absent from my blog lately. It started with a week of no television - as imposed by my first grade niece - and then morphed into some self-reflection about why I blog in the first place. I mean - if a tree falls and no one hears it........

Anyway - I'm back and while not 100% re-entergized, I am on my way!! I began this blog for two reasons. One - to get my passion about writing (and my writing) out in the open. I've always talked about why writing was important to me but I never really wrote about it. Pretty ironic.

But I was challenged by someone I care deeply about - basically, "who cared what I had to say and who was I to impose my feelings about writing on others, especially kids?" In his experience, you couldn't inspire someone to write. They loved it or they didn't - and no teacher was going to make a difference.

Now remember - I care deeply about this person and what they said hurt. And I know that deep down inside he is wrong. But I began to think that maybe, just maybe, I was alone in this!! I mean - I don't get a lot of comments on my blog and maybe no one reads it. Or maybe they read it and have secret conventions of the anti-writing society and because they are anti-writing don't post. Regardless - I did feel a bit alone.

But then I remembered the second reason I started this blog - to find and build a community of teacher writers. My hope was that if I shared this blog during my workshops on writing, one or two like minded folks might read it and post. And they might challenge my thinking a bit - as I hoped I challenged theirs. And we would all learn and make the world a writer friendly place. (Well - I exaggerate a bit but you get the point!) And I realized that there are a few folks who read and sometimes post (Thank you Karen and NYC Teacher!!) and that maybe I need to start small and stay firm. And maybe there are things that I could do differently in order to build this little community. And maybe it's my growth as a writer and a teacher of writing that I should be measuring instead.

So - nearly a year after I began this adventure in blogging, I begin again.

Tin Woodsman: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I - I think that it - it wasn't enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em - and it's that - if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?


Jennifer said...

I'm glad you’re back in the saddle! So are you saying writing is your own heart's desire - or blogging?

We seriously need to invent a word that means community without the implication of physical nearness. Like wiki is to "encyclopedia" . . . think we should bring a Hawaiian dictionary to CSETL?

Karen said...

Theresa, funny you should post this. I have recently been thinking about my own writing as well as my students. As you know I came to this career at a later time. I always created "stories" for my children at bedtime, all oral, with casts of familiar named characters, adventures, and fairy tale endings. But i never considered myself a "writer". But my mind was changed by a few inspiring soles. I think we can influence others and they can learn to love writing. Be inspired to write. At all the workshops i have attended with you you say, do it with them, in front of them, let them see you as a writer. I know you have done that for me. Another inspiration for me is our (Ripley's) partnership with Chautauqua arts council. I have a writer who comes into my classroom twice a week for about 20 weeks. She is a published writer who talks to the students and assigns them work. Sometimes I get so engrossed with the imagery, and word choice, I forget I am supposed to be the teacher monitoring, instead of writing my own work. I actually have a notebook were i write, freely, constantly, whenever inspiration hits me (the tree in my front yard the neighbor planted in 1930, my feelings about my ailing grandmother, the very cute mouse that crossed my path at a workshop in Silver Creek). I still read the Golden Compass, the Phantom Tollbooth,and Lois Lowry, and think how do they do it, I could never write so well. Who knows, with all who have "made a difference" in my writing life, maybe i can someday. I hear the tree falling... and i am sure others do as well. We all just need to give our selves the time to write!!