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Monday, March 2, 2015
Posts ffrom July-Writer's Block
Advice from a Friend-Release the Shackles
I was sharing with a group of teachers that I have been suffering terribly through my self imposed writing drought. I have had some iteration of writer's block. My type of writer's block came from my own desire to be perfect. Suffering from placing myself in a dark and dreary box, I arrived at the crossroads. I believed that whatever I wrote had to be only about education. Quite naturally this myopic thinking deterred the creative juices from flowing here and there. I became a juice box full of high fructose corn syrup. My system was on overdrive and I was suddenly moving at a standstill. I don't do well with boxes or high fructose corn syrup. I locked myself in my own prison and lost the key. My instincts, as writer and thinker, suffered tremendously. My creativity and passion for writing atrophied in the worst way. When I thought about writing, I felt tension. It wasn't pleasurable anymore. The stress hormone cortisol ruled and so I could not even think too much about writing. It was flight or fight. I chose to take flight from my keyboard and this blog.
Something happened on Tuesday. Something snapped. There was a breakthrough of sorts. I ran to my blog and just started letting my thoughts rip from my brain and flood the page in front of me. The floodgates had been compromised and boy did that river flow and inundate everything. The words, images and everything within me flew out of my brain and onto the screen! FREE AT LAST! FREE AT LAST!
The next day, I wanted to share the work of my creativity. Opportunity presented itself. I was able to share my blog and the most recent post from the night before. Sweet serenity reigned me in and I was peace. That pivotal day, I was able to share my poem Making Lemons. Wow! I finally was able to share my poetry with a larger group. I was so excited to do so. I read my poem aloud with such pride. That was a true blessing. Then the teachers and I analyzed my poem using the analysis pyramid. That was an invigorating literary conversation. Not only did we get to see and experience the analysis pyramid in action, but I was also able to see and feel how my poetry affected others. That was huge for me. The teachers actually liked it and I don't think they were just being polite. Many people approached me afterward as a poet and as an educator. Loved it! Loved it cubed! It made my day, week and quite possibly year!
The next day I was talking to a dear friend. She mentioned to me on Face Book that I truly shouldn't have writer's block. She said, "You have so much to write about, from the many stories about your daughter and how she is growing up. You could write about her kinder graduation, her eighth grade graduation and now her graduation into driving and adulthood." She also mentioned that I could be writing about my healthy life style changes. I took what she said into serious consideration. It made sense. I have been placing myself in writing exile because I foolishly thought that I had to write only about certain things. I have been doing tons of writing on social media. I needed to transfer those thoughts into writing. No more perfection and boxing for me. When I don't put pressure on me, I find that my writing is smooth and then I can fly! I would like to soar above these silly restrictions that place upon myself.
Now I am going to promise that I will soar above and allow my ideas to fly out of my head, through my keyboard and onto the page! I need this...need to do this. No diggity...no doubt!
What I have learned, through this writer's Siberia, is that I need to return to me. Return to be true to myself. Now is the perfect time to let my ideas flow once again! I am thinking that I can soar if I just allow myself to take off the shackles that bind. Many of these shackles exist from within than without. I need to do me and not worry about the rest. Time to move onto greater horizons! No diggity, no doubt!
I haven't written on this blog in what it seems like years. I am using an intentional gross exaggerative statement because I see my writing life devoid of purpose. I have thought a thousand times or more about why I cannot seem to write on this blog. It is rather silly because I have cherished it so much.
Sometimes I think that I have to write about something extraordinary or meaningful. Then I get caught up in trying to classify what is extraordinary and meaningful to others. I think that is where I am making my biggest mistake. That is what is causing the most blockage for me. Can I put a stint in it? Thinking that I had crossed that suspension bridge of thinking things had to be perfect, has crept into my life again. Hearing the voice of discontent has stifled and caused me undo consternation. Consternation? Maybe more like constipation! I cannot let it pass! (I know...TMI and disgusting references, but I couldn't let it go!) This frame of mind and reference is what is causing the blockage to my brain and to my hands, as they type or not type on the keyboard. No, I detest the state that I am in right now as a writer, and I need to purge myself of all the perceived negative voices and just let my thoughts fly again. I long to let my thoughts go and take flight once again. So I am now saying to you, negative Nelly voices, "You need to go right now! Get to steppin'!"
That is part of the problem for me. The other part is that I don't have the time to do this much lately. Yes, I know you are going to say that you make time for what is important. I second that emotion to the nth degree. It isn't that entirely. It is where I am in my life. I don't know if this is the forum for me or if I should create another blog. I am considering creating a new blog because I have lots of things going on in my life that need to be expressed, but maybe this is not the place. Starting this past January I have turned over a new leaf. I have become healthier in so many ways. I have lost close to 34 pounds and have become an exercise freak. To cope with excess stress that life tends to throw at me, I have added exercise to my daily regimen. Needless to say, I have discovered that I like it, no...I love it! When I eat healthy and exercise, I have more energy to do the things that I haven't had time or the 'ganas' to do. Having said that, I am considering creating a journal type blog chronicling my days, weeks and months of a healthy lifestyle.
I don't know yet, but I want to start this soon. This blog has been a great journey for me and I want to continue this blog type journey and write about things that effect my health and well being. Is this the place for it? I remain conflicted. I am not sure this blog is the avenue that I want to use to communicate and chronicle this journey. So you may or may not see me posting as much. We will see.
Someone asked me to write down a few lines for them about educational breakthroughs in my life. Although I don't really considers this a breakthrough, it is more of what I have been reflecting on lately. So here goes: (This will be revisited and continued at another time!)
Hmmm! Breakthroughs? Epiphanies? What could it be? So many that I cannot write them down. Thoughts flood my brain daily, as I reflect on what is going on in my educational life. I wish I could capture them at the moment of impact, but they just go, as I go onto the next task. One of the biggest realizations for me is that I must just be. Everything is coming at me a zillion miles per second and I don’t always have the time to slow down and just be in the moment. Because of this hectic way of living, I think that I have missed out on some really great moments. Some days are just blurry to me. I wake up and ask myself, what did I do yesterday, two days ago, last week? I absolutely hate that because I lose these moments. So I have determined that what I need to do is slow down! How so? Slow down and take more time to reflect, when I can, I need to write these moments down.
When things do slow down for me, it is usually when I am working with students. They ground me and keep me “normal.” That is truly where I get my energy. These students inspire. Some people tend to give up on them and put them in the box of despair. I choose to believe in them. They have so much potential that I can tap into. It is truly extraordinary when we take away the testing mandates, cut and raw scores and just slow down and just be with our students. I compare it to being “real.” Cut away the fluff and get to the heart of things. Strip it down to the learner and for the learner’s sake. I have so much enjoyed being there, learning right along with them. To me, it is essential to enjoy the time and accumulate research, with these young minds. Take away the percentage of this, that and the other and look into the eyes of the young students and see them in their future. See them graduate from high school with options galore. To me it empowers me to help bring out the talents and thinking in each student. That is where the real gratification comes in. In many ways, they are tapping into my thought processes and research. How do I adjust? How do I become proactive? What ways do I search out to bring out the very best in them? That is the heart of it all! So for me, I need to take the time to reflect on my practice and be the change that I want to see in my students.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! So what is extra, extra? Why did people say that? What was excessive or the extra any how? The news was extra? Really? If the news was important or fascinating, does that make it extra? I would think they would have said, "Hey, bub! C'mon over hear and read some really extraordinary news! Yeah, the Spurs won! The Spurs won!" It just wouldn't fit extra! Maybe extra was a name of a periodical or newspaper! Otherwise, if I want the extras then I would go to the want ads, editorials, advertisements and comics! That would be extra, extra for sure. But then again, in the Sunday paper, there is plenty of extra! Sometimes I get an extra little box of cereal or cleaning agent! That would definitely qualify and quantify as extra! I suppose I will need to research this one. I am also very sure that there will be a reasonable explanation for this one too. So, the next time you watch a black and white film with a little page boy (page boy? Is that what they called newspaper kids back then?) who runs up and down the street and saying, "EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!" then think about it and see if you can figure out the reason why there is so much left over! I am going to call my mom to find out if she knows about this extra mess. She seems to know what the Kardashians are doing! I am sure she can find a little extra dirt on the newspaper thing...at least I hope so!