Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Becoming good at something takes practice.  Recently I watched a time-elapsed video clip of a woman learning to dance over the time span of one year.  Day one and day 365 were remarkably different.  She had the innate talent on day one, but hadn’t built her skills.  Day 365—a totally different story.  100 Day Challenge   I think of all of the things I say I can’t do well.  Is it because I really can’t do it or is it because I have not dedicated time to practice.  And I think of the things I can do well.  Can I do them because they comes easily or can I do them because I have given myself time to grow in skill through persistence and practice?

I am glad for the upcoming March Challenge in the Two Writing Teachers Writing Community for two reasons.  First this challenge will allow me to practice my writing craft on a daily basis through adedicated and daily choices to pick up my pen and create something to share.   Secondly, I have decided to use this challenge to exploring for the entire month one concept that I want to make more a part of my life.  I want to dedicate practice time to something I want to get better at doing.

First the writing… I have thought long and hard about being a part of the March writing challenge.  Life is more than full between work and family events.  And there is a part of me that is quaking at adding something else to an already packed schedule.  Then I think of the value of practice in growing a skill.  Day one looks different from day 365.  The dailyness of developing a writing habit is essential.  The need to produce when time is limited and words may or may not be there is a part of honing a writerly life.

Second, the dormant skill… My word for the year is “playful”.  Having chosen words to guide my life for many years, I know the power of harnessing a word that may be somewhat dormant.  Play is that word for me right now.  What is play in the life of a busy person?  What is play in the life of someone who has needed to hold things together to make life work for a family?  What is play for the serious?  During the month of March I am going to explore this word in a deep way.  Through vignettes, poetry and essay I will be looking at different aspects of play and what it means for me as I take on this word in a deeper way. 

So in some ways this challenge is a 2fer for me.  I am practicing and developing my use of words and I am practicing and developing one word that is my word for the year.  As a writer and as a player, day one will look different from day 30 or day 100 or day 365.  They say, “Practice makes perfect.”  I say, “I sure am not perfect and maybe practice will make me a little better…a little better writer and a little better player.”  What could be better than that?

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for teachers and teachers of literacy to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.