Last night I updated my sidebar links and in doing so spent more time than usual checking out the links of others. I found J*me's links especially interesting. I enjoy finding and reading blogs that are intelligent, thoughtful, and well written. This one I especially like. Lately I've been feeling like my blog could be so much more than it is. What it boils down to is that I don't give enough time to writing in my life. Funny, considering that is exactly what my life is supposed to be about right now. Still, I am grateful for inspiration--where ever it is to be found.
Last night, I laid in bed reading student essays. For once I decided not to grade but just read. I ended up in fits of laughter and then nearly in tears. This time around they got to write about whatever they wanted. They are turning out to be some of their most powerful pieces of writing so far. One essay in particular made me stop. It made me want to get up right then and there--and write. Instead I sat there for probably a half hour in awe of my students' abililty to get ideas and thinking about how I've changed as a writer since my Freshman year in college. I found myself wishing that I could once again be a beginning writer--without all the worries I've gained along the way. I sat there asking myself, "what is holding me back?"; "why is it so much harder to come up with ideas?" I think the answer is fear of failure. I've somewhere along the lines acquired a fear of producing "minor" writing and, in the end, it's keeping me from producing any writing at all.
I told my class that I would be doing the writing right along with them. And some of it I have. But the essays I haven't written-- I feel like I'm not only letting them down, I'm letting myself down. This semester I have a group of incredibly inspiring students. I don't want to miss my opportunity to write along with such an remarkable group. Lately I've been finding inspiration in many places. But I keep waiting for the dam to burst. Until it does, I guess there's only one thing left to do: write. I think I've heard myself say that before.