This week has been another week of reflection for me, as my work duties kept me from participating as much as I would have liked in the week’s activities.
The phrase ‘Hack your writing’ made me think of my life as a writer, and how I feel dissatisfied. I’ve realized this summer that I spend most of my writing time creating texts for others – lesson plans, emails, letters of recommendation – and not enough time creating for the sake of creating, as well as writing memoir, journaling to understand my experiences and needs, and reflecting on my professional life. This is not to say that I dislike writing emails and letters of recommendation, but rather to say that I want to strike a balance between writing for others and writing for myself.
This week was the first week of the LA Writing Project Young Writers Camp; my co-teacher Amanda Benevides and I teach the high school group. Amanda led an activity on Thursday that involved writing descriptively about a favorite place, and I wrote alongside the kids while Amanda gave directions. I wrote about my grandparents’ house, and I realized as I wrote that my brain was a bit tired. It’s a bit difficult to explain how I came to this conclusion, but as I wrote, I found myself longing to sit quietly in my grandparents’ backyard – which tells me that I have not been attending to my need for quiet and reflection.
I’m still thinking over how to act on this insight, but I think I need to carve out more time to write in my notebook, and more time to sit quietly in my backyard.
Other highlights from this week, included:
- Janet Ilko’s Thinglink about immigration, to which I made a modest remix by adding a link about the US-Canada border,
- my conversations throughout the week with Maha Bali, whose Twitter & blog posts are always full of interesting thoughts, and
- The Thursday Twitter chat, especially the witty ripostes of William Ian O’Byrne and Erica Holan Lucci about bedazzled iPads and a high-ranking official in the Obama Administration and Kim Jaxon’s thought-provoking tweets about encouraging students to hack our assignments.