Last week I had a fantastic opportunity to spend time learning with my friends at All Write. Invitations seemed to be everywhere – rides to and from the conference (the short commute between the hotel and school – as well as the longer one between Ohio and Indiana – thank you, Tony Keefer!!!), invitations to go eat, invitations to write, to think, to pose for pictures…
In the midst of it all, we had a lovely dinner with Kate Messner and were able to hear her presentation about mentors. I loved hearing about the people and fictional characters who have left their mark on her. It left me thinking (as any good presentation should) about who my mentors have been.
(Good heavens, that is a long list…I’d be terrified to try to write those names down in any single blog post for fear I’d miss anyone!)
There is something so amazing (and frightening) in that moment when another invites you into their project or even just their conversation because that means they think you have something to offer.
It also made me think about how I make those invitations to others.
Which all leads me to today.
I have the good fortune to be working with some really wonderful colleagues at our NWP site’s Young Writers Academy where I’m helping with technology and taking the opportunity to write with them when I can. (These writers are really serious – they are focused and engaged and amazing. I can’t wait to see what they are working on!)
While we were getting organized in the morning these last two days, my friend Bob and I have been chatting about Teachers Write! and also the Slice of Life posts here. This morning he looked at me and told me he wanted to make a blog.
I knew I was grinning from ear to ear. Bob’s voice is one that needs to be shared with a wider audience and I have been planting seeds for ages, leaving invitations and offering encouragement in the hopes that he’d do just that.
So before I worked with any young writers today, I helped him set up his first blog.
I promised to help him and told him the really basic basics of how to do things and I still owe him an email with some more information before I call it a day, but this was such a joy and I can hardly wait until I see his Slice of Life posts among the comments at Two Writing Teachers.