I went into this summer with intentions of writing daily and completing a few chapters of my book; however, a few weeks in, I found myself struggling to wake up early and write while my house sleeps. I felt frustrated and a little disappointed in myself when day after day I opted to sleep in rather than write. Then, I gave myself grace and accepted that after a year of teaching in the age of Covid, this needed to be a summer of rest.
Reawakening my writing habit: Creating a Vision Board
This experience taught me that I am the kind of writer who needs structure. I am better able to stick to my morning writing routine when I know that I will walk into my classroom by 7:45, eat lunch at 11:00 and leave, well, when I can. For me, this rhythm leads to greater productivity in my writing. That said, I spent the week leading up to the start of school thinking about how I would reaffirm my commitment to my writing, specifically blogging and working on my book. The answer came while reading Leading Literate Lives: Habits and Mindsets for Reimagining Classroom Practice by Stephanie Affinito.
In her book, Stephanie guides readers to create a vision board for their reading and writing lives. I started mine and in the spirit of The Dot by Peter Reynolds, I made a mark and saw where it took me. What I discovered was that my vision is that literacy shapes my day; starting with writing and ending with reading. As I illustrate in the image below, my intention is to start my day writing in my notebook, then move to my laptop where I shift to professional writing (blog posts, my book). Then before bed, I read with my daughter and alone- typically a middle-grade text that one of my fifth graders recommends or I am considering for our classroom.
It has been 2 weeks since school started but so far I have been able to ease into this vision. There are mornings when waking at 5:30 is just not possible and on those mornings, I give myself grace and start again the next day. When I lose my way, I have my vision board to guide me back. I have come to understand that our writing lives wax and wane. We must give ourselves grace and TRUST that the words will come when we are ready to receive them.
What about you? Have you created a vision board for your literate life? If so, I'd love to hear about it!