A Word on Commitment – A Friday Night #Slice – 1 of 31

I couldn’t help but shake my head earlier this evening.

I found myself waiting in an office lobby for a meeting to start on a Friday night.

What’s more is that the only part of that is that I screwed up with where I was waiting.

(I didn’t read the agenda correctly and thought that the meeting started MUCH earlier than it did. Surely I’m not the only one who has screwed that up before…)

The meeting is one of many that I have committed to last spring – and there are at least another year’s worth of meetings to look forward to. (There is no sarcasm here. I really do look forward to the conversations with this group.)

But while I was sitting there, waiting, shaking my head, I started to think about another commitment: my plan to do the Slice of Life Challenge.

I wrote a post during class with my students today, but I really didn’t want to post it when it was all said and done. (I did rescue it and have it in my own files, but…I just decided I wanted to keep that for myself.)

So what was I going to post? Would I have enough time to write a new one or would I be forced to use the one I didn’t want to post?


Wait. This is NOT what’s supposed to happen. I’m not supposed to look at this as another thing I have to do. There is supposed to be JOY in this.

So what the heck?!

Oh boy. This happens. This I-don’t-wanna attitude. It happens to people who like to write. Who teach writing. Who try to get kids to write on command.

(Ugh. Do I do this to my students? I must…)

But there’s value in pushing through this feeling and writing anyway.

It’s forcing me to document this experience and reflect on my practice.

I’m not sure this is JOY right at the moment, but I do see VALUE.

And that might be enough to help me work through this frustration with my students better next week.


12 thoughts on “A Word on Commitment – A Friday Night #Slice – 1 of 31

    • I did, too. This is the second year for me, but I am sure it won’t be my last. I’m having my students write with me during class and I’m encouraging (but not requiring) them to continue on the weekends. Hopefully they will learn some of this for themselves…

  1. Although it sounds so cliche to say it, the only way we can become better as writing teachers, is to push ourselves into the same roles as our students and experience what they do on a daily basis – and the anxiety of not knowing what to write about, and not facing each day with excitement is definitely one of them. But even more powerful is the fact that you were sitting in a relatively uninspiring place, living like a writing — thinking about what you could draw from your day’s experience and put into writing … now that’s powerful!

    Share your thought processes with your students, it will definitely be a welcome discussion and lesson that we all, even us writing teachers struggle.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    • The kids will hear about this. I’ll share the link and let them decide if they want to read the whole thing, but I will definitely tell them the highlights of this experience.
      Thank you for your comment!

  2. I am always encouraged when I read about people for whom I have so much respect struggling to write with ease. It is a natural part of the process, right? It is a natural aspect of life, really. There are times when commitment is all that gets us through the rough parts. I have never managed to write so eloquently about not being able to write, though I’ve read many other slicers who captured my fancy by doing just that. I am glad your commitment to slice came to fruition tonight even if the joyful part of it lagged behind in the drafting, I suspect it found you in the act of posting.

    • Wow…that’s a high compliment there! Thank you, Christy! I don’t know that writing is always easy for anyone. (If their tweets and facebook posts are any indication, writing isn’t necessarily easy for published authors either!)
      That joy did come. Right in the seconds before I hit POST because I knew I had found something to say.

  3. I think I have to return to this post when I have this day. It happens and I love that you didn’t allow it to stop yourself from posting.

  4. Writing in this challenge has made me more aware of the things I ask my students to do. And, while I am sympathetic to the “I don’t know what to write about” blues, I also know that when I tell them to “just write something” that I’m not being glib. I know that if they just start writing whatever is in their head, sooner or later a great idea will pop out.

    Happy slicing.

    • I already knew that it would be okay if I just sat and wrote, but it’s good to have those reminders. I liken it to the anxiety you get when you get on a roller coaster. The first time you ride it, it’s terrifying and you’re not really sure you’ll be okay (even though you saw all those people who got off the ride before you got on – they were smiling and laughing), but each time you ride it, the anxiety gets to be less scary and more expected. It’s part of the experience.
      Thank you for your comment! Happy slicing to you, too!

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