12 January 2011

Writing Wednesday: Make Writing a Habit

Happy New Year everyone! Today I wanted to talk about a very significant lesson that my youngest daughter has taught. Yesterday, she and I reviewed her weekly homework sheet. Every day, my daughter is to read for twenty minutes. She sighed, put on a sad face, hunched her shoulders and went to her room to choose a book from her personal library. Zionne has always had difficulty reading. She mixes up the "b" and the "d." Her short term and active working memory are not really developed where she remembers consonant blends and word clusters. She tries so hard to sound out the words and fails to comprehend what she has read. It breaks my heart to see her struggle with her reading.

I felt really bad for making her read but I told her, "Zionne. In order to become a better reader, you must read regularly." I picked up the book and told her that I would read all the odd page numbers and she can read all the even pages. We continued back and forth for about half an hour. I asked her questions and she seemed to get the gist of what was happening in the Cam Jansen book.

I suddenly had an epiphany. How can I preach to my daughter about the importance of reading regularly when I don't even follow that same principle when it comes to writing. It was an eye-opening experience. I sat at my desk flabbergasted that I, an educator, am making excuses about my writing. I enjoy writing and haven't written a single thing in over two weeks. Yes, life happens but many people have overcome the obstacle of a busy schedule, career, family, etc.

So what I have done is make writing an everyday activity by putting it on my "To Do" list. I plan to make writing a habit. (Thanks Tami!) I don't want to say it is my New Year's Resolution because I never, ever fulfill those. Rather I want to incorporate writing into my day. I am going to use several suggestions made to me. I plan to use my voice recorder on my iPhone 4. I am going to keep a little notepad or small notebook in the car or in my purse. I am going to write for at least 20-30 minutes each day. I think I may even hide in the bathroom for a little privacy.

I know it is going to be challenging but I am optimistic that by just writing a little at a time, I can make it a lifelong habit.

What are some things that you do to make time for writing?


Jan Morrison said...

Yay! All we are is habits so if we want to be writers we must write. Good that our kids teach us lessons, eh?

CA Heaven said...

Reading and writing are already my habits, in addition to chewing tobacco (snuff), not so good though.

I try to write half an hour, at least, every night before I go to bed (which means I never get to bed early) >:)

Cold As Heaven

Su said...

That's exactly what I have to tell myself about everything-- writing, running, homework, cleaning, whatever-- it's only going to get done if I do it. I've found that being blunt with myself is pretty much the only way it works!

Unknown said...

@Jan- Yes, it's amazing the things I learn from them each day. I'm so incredibly blessed in that I make discoveries with my children at home and my students at work.

@ Cold as Heaven- I know the feeling. Once I do get the writing bug, it seems like time flies.

@Su- I wish I had your guts to be blunt with personal reflection. Excellent strategy.

Hart Johnson said...

Chary-I'm sorry I didn't manage in here yesterday, but I'm really glad my bossiness (erm... and your lesson a la Zionne) have inspired you to fit writing in every day! Soon you will be stealing time for it!