Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break

Yesterday my Spring Break officially began. At 2:15PM I shooed my eighth graders out the door with a cheerful, “See you in 10 days,” scored the pile of late work several students shoved in my hand as they exited, graded 88 units tests, and then zipped up my school bag with no intention of opening it until April 8th.

As I locked up my classroom, a colleague asked what my plans were for Spring Break.

“Writing,” I replied, “…well, actually revising.”

As we exited the building, my colleague reminded me that I had the same plans for Winter Break. I explained that writing is an on-going process; to which she commented, “It must feel sometimes like you never reach your goal.” 

I thought about that on my drive home. And yes, the process can feel a bit like taking two steps forward, one step back…or sometimes three steps back, but thanks to a recent writing workshop I attended, I was entering my Spring Break with a new goal.

On March 9th, I had the pleasure of enjoying a lovely day of learning, sharing and eating frosted brownies with friends and fellow writers. One of the speakers at the workshop was Editorial Assistant Alex Arnold from Katherine Tegen Books. She discussed ways to dust off the Winter writing blues and spring into Spring with your writing.

My favorite piece of advice Alex shared was pinpointing a one-word writing goal for Spring.

As writers, we tend to be wordy. The more, the merrier, right? Wrong. And as I’ve learned from more than one rejection letter, “less is more.” The same goes for setting goals. Too many words can make for weighty goals.

So think Spring. Think Light. Think word…as in the singular.
One little seed, which if you nurture, over time will grow and blossom.

My word for Spring is TRUST.

Trust my instincts.

Trust others’ advice.

Trust the process.

And trust my voice.

One word. One goal. And just like Spring, bursting with new possibilities.

And the beauty of my one-word goal, is that unlike some writing goals, which may take weeks, or months, or years to fulfill, I can enjoy the sense of accomplishment of fulfilling my TRUST goal every time I sit down to write…whether it’s a thousand words, or ONE.

So what’s your one-word goal for Spring? 

PS. In case you were wondering if I have a backup one-word goal for Spring, I do.  It is CHOCOLATE. It's more of a year-round goal, and may have been influenced by the workshop's frosted brownies, but I am proud to announce that I have been enjoying the sense of accomplishment of fulfilling this goal every time I sit down to write, as well. Alex didn't say we couldn't have two one-word goals.

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