Jumping In

For years now I’ve been a bit of a hypocrite (okay, a BIG hypocrite). As a teacher, I often ask my students to write. I ask them to brainstorm, to draft, to edit. I watch and guide them as they struggle through the stages of writing. Throughout this process, I profess my love for writing. I tell them that writing comes easier when you write about what you know, what you are passionate about, yet I myself have ignored my own wisdom. I tell my students that my life-long goal is to someday write a book, that writing is a natural extension of who I am. I have kept journals since I was a teenager. I read voraciously. I love words. I am inspired by, and somewhat envious of authors who have labored long enough to get published. It is my dream.

So why then have I not taken any steps to jump in and find my voice? Why do I find numerous excuses why I can’t write? What am I afraid of? What am I avoiding? The answer to these questions is simple. I’ve known it all along. It’s what I tell my students. Writing. Is. Hard. Yes, writing is hard. Putting your voice out there is hard. Writing for an audience is hard. Being judged is hard. My students don’t get a choice. I am their teacher. I assign, I judge. And still they write. They are graded and given feedback. At times that feedback is hard to give. They listen. They continue to write.

I have no teacher. I have no assignment. I have no one to judge me. Yet I do not write. I have been a hypocrite. A well-known children’s author recently told me to begin by just “telling my story”. I guess the best way to begin is to just jump in. Here goes…

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