Today I read over my posts from last year’s SOL Challenge. I was wondering if I might be able to tell if I have grown as a writer this year. When I look at student writing, I use rubrics to keep a record of their growth as writers. How will I know if I have grown? Using a rubric on myself somehow feels weird. I think that I’m going to postpone any judgment for now.

The important thing is that I’m here again trying to improve. Mostly, I notice that I’m happier because I’m writing. As a person who has struggled with depression for most of my adult life, being happier is a big deal to me. There is something about the act of writing that satisfies a need, turns my mind outward toward the world instead of inward on myself. That seems like a paradox, but even though the act of writing is personal, once written it is part of something bigger than myself. If I’m honest, writing is empowering, and that feels good. (I’m fighting the urge to delete that sentence, but I won’t because it’s true.)

I hope that many of you are also feeling happier just by writing. Thank you to each one who makes this community possible.

Just a little reflection on a Friday night when a story isn’t coming readily to mind.

6 thoughts on “March 6, 2015

  1. I completely understand the paradox between the very personal act of writing and the resulting connection with others and sense of strength that comes with it. I found the same to be true for me. Excellent post!

  2. You expressed exactly how I have felt about this process. I went for a long time without writing anything that wasn’t required (grad school papers, etc.) because of a negative experience that I had a long time ago. I’ve realized that writing makes me happy, too, and I now I can’t imagine not writing. I want to improve and I need that daily writing routine in order to do so.

    I’m also glad that you didn’t delete that sentence about writing being empowering!

  3. I love your honesty about writing. I’m not sure if I have grown as a writer… That’s something to really think about. I liked the fact that it’s empowering! Absolutely! Keep slicing!

  4. Thank you for being so open and honest in your post! This is my first year of the challenge and I must admit that I love it! I am so much happier and I know it is because of the daily writing.

    I am so glad that you are doing the challenge again.

  5. I agree! Writing does make you feel part of something bigger. I didn’t think it would be this easy. I never wrote publicly like this before March 1. It is empowering. It does make you feel connected! Thank you for sharing your reflection!

  6. I really like your thoughts here. There is a meditative quality in writing. My aunt didn’t like to write about herself or others because she felt that something once written became fixed, and she didn’t like that. But I’ve found that when I’m bothered by something, writing about it gets it outside of myself, and I can see it more objectively. Sometimes it is hard to write every day, but I know exactly what you and Jen mean: writing does make us happier.

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