Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Words to Live By

It's early on Tuesday morning. My brain isn't fully awake yet and I'm struggling to find a slice to share. What do I do? I'll lean on some advice I give to my students. Find some words that inspire and let those wash over you. Listen to them. Sit with them. Find your words. I found some words this week on social media. Here are some of those words...

These are good. Inspirational. Thought-provoking, but they still don't grab me on this early morning. Here's the one...

I found this final image on Instagram ( I love the phrase, "follow your bliss". I believe those words and I try to live those words. These words. These ideas...they feel true. 

I'm working on a book about writer's notebooks and using them in the middle school classroom. I'd put things aside in the busy-ness of opening a new school. I let fear take over. I'd gotten down on myself and frustrated with my progress, or lack thereof...until last week. Last week, I returned to my draft. Last week, I wrote again. Last week, I felt like this is the book I have to write. 

In the days following that experience, I had multiple unexpected opportunities to share my ideas and perspective about notebooks. These opportunities popped up out of nowhere. I shared my ideas and again I saw a need for this book. I'm writing this book. 

My dream is to get it published, but that isn't even the most important part to me anymore. I am going to follow my bliss. Writing is my bliss. Notebooks are my bliss. I'm going to let the rest go and see where this journey takes me. 

As an aside, using quotes with students is a powerful way to invite writers to begin. My sixth graders love quotes. A few of my students add a quote to their daily writing, isn't that a great idea? It's one I think I may start using. 

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.


  1. I was at a loss for words, much I could write about, but struggling with what is my story and what belongs to someone else--it's a fine line when it comes to family matters! Thanks for posting your struggle and inspiration! I like the idea of starting with a quote.

  2. Thanks for sharing all that inspiration! How wonderful that you are following your bliss and seeing those doors open "where you didn't know they were going to be." You are an inspiration as well!

  3. I appreciated reading all of these quotations. The last one struck home and resonated the most. "Just because my path is different..." It reminded me of thew Tolkien quote "All who wander are not lost." Thanks for the inspiration this morning.

  4. The quote that spoke to me was the idea of un-becoming. I may write long on that in my notebook! Thanks for inspiring me! Also if you need more notebook examples, I'm having my 6th graders write about reading 4 times this quarter. I'll share images of pages with you if you want. And you were right - I LOVE Middle School!! So glad I visited YOU last Spring to be inspired to take the plunge!

  5. Don't be so hard on yourself, friend. Maybe you took that sabbatical from writing your book because it needed to marinate a bit more to become the book it was meant to be. And don't forget -- you've been a LITTLE busy. We only have so much gas in the car to make us go, right?

  6. I, too, love using quotes. My new favourite: “Reading is like breathing in; writing is like breathing out.” Pam Allyn.

  7. Does anyone else feel more stuck about what to write when you only post once a week instead of every day? There's a pressure that it has to be the best topic instead of just a worthy topic. Missing March.

    Glad you found the right-ness of your book for you!

  8. I like how you don't give up but look for inspiration and keep writing. The book will grow word by word.

  9. Now that I know you put the writing of that book on hold -- out of fear -- I'm going to have to start Voxing you pump-up messages again.


  10. Some of my students got a hold of my 365 Days of Wonder and are writing a quote each day on a framed piece of glass. Did I get that Pinterest idea from you? I have nothing to do with it, which is the best part. I also pick out quotes and have my students write a response each week. Thanks for sharing all these great quotes.


Please share your thoughts. I love comments!