It is such a simple rule. To become a better writer and reader, one must read and write each day. It is easier said than done. This past fall was difficult for me. In order to make more room in my life for reading and writing, I had to decide not to spend every waking hour thinking about my teaching. After 21 years of patterns for daily planning, and creating, (really obsessing) about teaching, I set a goal for two hours of daily writing and / or reading. I’m not sure how many hours Malcolm Gladwell said it takes to develop a new habit, but I feel like I did it.
I’m sure many people have done this kind of life work with exercise or eating habits. I hope my success in the area of daily reading and writing will spill over into these other areas, eventually. But, for now, I’m congratulating myself for accomplishing as much as I have so far. I have taken back control of my life in the evening. It helps when your children become teenagers and can drive. I have allowed for daily reading or writing. At first it felt like I was sneaking a vacation while I was still working. This was a good sign. However, when I share this accomplishment, a lot of people look at me funny, as if to suggest “It must be nice.” I’m not feeling guilty about it anymore.
This month I will celebrate my daily practice with lots of other teachers and writers during the Month of March Slice of Life Daily Writing Challenge. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and finding old friends to inspire me as a writer and teacher of writing and reading. Starting in 2006 I blogged at http://www.learningontheedge.blogspot.com . I changed my blogging platform to WordPress, but maintain the spirit of my first blog: I am a lifelong learner. I’m excited to blog all month long!