I’m not sure if you will remember, but about two years ago I made a statement, and a commitment to myself, to write a book. It was at a time where I was feeling a little lost, well, maybe a lot lost, feeling without a purpose in my life.
While in New York City for our annual Broadway decompression jaunt, I always do walkabouts early in the morning. It is my time to reflect, to photograph, and recharge from where I consider to be the center of the Universe. During one walkabout, it came to me to write a book about classroom environments.
Now, I’ve written lesson plans, instruction manuals, tweets, and now blog posts. A book was a new thing to work on. For the first few months, all I did was a chapter plan. That was it!
The reason I only did the chapter plan and stopped was due to my inner demons. Throughout my life I’ve never really thought of myself as someone who might influence someone. I’ve done my best to always do my best. As a teacher, my hope and goal was for students to leave at the end of the year a little better and a little smarter than when they arrived. As an instructional coach, my hope and goal was the same, that I would inspire teachers to become a little better and a little improved in their craft by the end of the year. As an administrator, my hope and goal was to coach and facilitate teachers to be passionate about their craft and help students meet their potential; I also wanted to help teachers become leaders in their own right.
However, at the end of the day, I’ve never fully been confident I reached any of those goals and aspirations.
That has been my block with writing the book. I keep thinking who am I to pretend to tell, explain, provide ideas to an unknown audience? Who am I to think myself expert enough to offer advice to so many much more skilled educators than I? Really, how dare I think someone might want to read and use even one of my ideas, or will they even though the ideas worked for me and my students.
As I said, I continue to fight my demons.
What inspired me to finally just write, to get my thoughts on paper, was finding a writing group on MeetUp. There are few things scarier than showing up to a writing group, thinking of myself as a writer, and being in the company of actual published authors, writing along side them. This dedicated time has helped light a fire under my behind to get started. For the past six-ish months I’ve been writing on Saturday mornings for an hour. Our group meets via Zoom right now, but that format is working.
Today, after our time ended, I realized I was almost finished with the book. If I’m able to keep on track, it should be finished, or at least the first draft finished, by the end of June if not sooner. I’m beginning to believe I can finish it. Even when finished, I’m still realistic in that it may just end up being my own labor of love and that’s it. We’ll see.
When I finish, I may reach out to some of you to read through and offer your thoughts.
No matter what, it will feel good to fulfill the commitment I made to myself. Here’s to the energy to finish the draft.