I am a person who writes. When I was young, I wrote in a diary. Seemly nothing to say, yet revealing the people that were important, the things that happened around me, and the power plays unfolding. As an adolescent and young adult, I wrote about the things that I could not say without getting in trouble from my father, step-mother and older sister, or making my mother cry. As a young adult, I wrote to make sense of the thoughts swirling around my head and to sharpen my words to fire as defensive missiles. As an adult, I wrote as an outlet to my frustrations and to clarify my thinking.
I was never comfortable sharing my ideas. Attempts to write stories fell short of the stories I read. I wanted profound. I wanted thought provoking. In university, my most inspired writing came in the wee hours of the morn when I was pulling an all nighter. Raising little kids and working full time did not lend itself to that kind of writing or that kind of focus.
My first public writing was inspired by a friend and colleague at the time, Meredyth Kezar. She was an early adopter of blogging. I expressed to her that I feared falling down the rabbit hole into another world that would consume me. Yet, the initiative and opportune moment came when I was teaching in China after my mother’s death. I wanted to step outside of the events and feelings threatening to overwhelm me. I started a travel blog. My friend, mentor and writer of books, Jan Wells, kept it on her desktop and read it with the news in the morning. Criticism from my stepmother indicated that even she read it. People that I didn’t know read it. I had something to say that was of interest.
With the move into management in another school district, I was at a loss without the support and inspiration from colleagues in the other two school districts I had left behind. I maintained my practice of inquiry and the blog became a way of posing, then exploring those questions. Hence Inquire2Empower was born. A newfound friend and mentor in the VSB, Rosa Fazio, catapulted me into the world of social media, with an introduction to Twitter. The blog and the Twitter account amplified my voice and allowed me to create a Professional Learning Community of like-minded people. I penned my own narrative that opened up other opportunities related to my passions, literacy, social justice, SEL, and learning outdoors.
I have now been provided with another opportunity. Time and space to focus on my writing. My father has also provided the cabin in the woods via the Irrevocable Trust that really turned out to be irrevocable. Now what remains is for me to evolve as a writer. I have internalized the value of Julia Cameron’s morning pages. I am rereading Stephen King’s memoir On Writing. The question for me is how to evolve to a writer of books that I’d want to read. I have no shortage of ideas for murder-mysteries, professional handbooks, and fat, sad books. What is next? How do I begin?
King, Stephen (2000). On Writing. A Memoir of the Craft. Scribner. New York.
Cameron, Julia (2016). The Artist’s Way. A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. 25th Anniversary Edition. A TarcherPerigee Book, New York.