Skip to main content

From FB to ICL

Recently I wrote something on one of my private FB writing groups that caused an outcry of anger. Honestly I didn't mean it as a political statement and when so many people got angry I was genuinely surprised. My statement was something along the lines of "I don't come to this group to talk about gender or race, I come here to get ideas for writing." During the insanity of anger over this statement, I felt sick to my stomach. I was sad. I felt misunderstood. I am usually a fighter. I will argue with anyone. My weapon of choice is words and I use them pretty well. Lately though, I'm working to stand back and think before jumping in. In the end I never replied to anyone, then I deleted my original post and left the FB group.

Without the time suck of FB--I focused my time on the thing that really matters to me--my writing for children. I've signed up to take a course at the Institute of Children's Literature. I learned about the school many years ago and always wondered about it. I found out that Katie Davis bought the school with her husband and I'm a huge admirer of her work. Check out her new TEDx talk about procrastination. I originally signed up for this course because I wanted someone to give me deadlines around my children's book writing. I was willing to pay for that because I had stopped making appointments with myself to write. The first assignment in this course was fantastic. I started thinking about my career as a writer for children. I didn't realize that a course which is practical can help you feel like a writer. I've uncovered some ideas and thinking about my writing that I never knew I had.  The resources I received prior to the course are fantastic: from the "2016 Book Markets for Children's Writers" to the "From Inspiration to Publication". I have a kind of purpose I've never had before. I can't recommend this course enough. There are ten lessons and, though some people complete the course in a full year. I am planning to complete it over the summer. I was assigned an instructor who works with me one-on-one. It means I have a writing instructor, editor, and critic personally available.

What does this have to do with my opening paragraph? I stopped being impulsive especially around things that don't matter at all, like FaceBook, and I started being more participatory in the trajectory of my life. I always thought if I didn't jump in right then and there, I would disappear, but this isn't true. I am right here as I've always been, but now I'm doing the work I want to be doing instead of being distracted.

My plan?

  • Write everyday for two hours
  • Take FaceBook off my phone
  • Read three children's books a week
  • Subscribe to several children's magazines
  • Engage in my ICL course every day





Comments

  1. The course you are taking sounds very helpful. I like that you have a plan. When we have a goal in mind, it's important to have a plan to get there to help us stay focused. It's so easy to get distracted by FB, but also by all the other parts of life that turn up! Good luck with your writing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I admire so much the steps you are taking to be the writer you want to be. Proactive rather than reactive. I hope you will share parts of your journey with us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kimberley,
    Backing away from FB was a wonderful first move. You are a fighter, but this one wasn't worth it. Focusing on what matters, that's it! Oh to have that tattooed on my hand. The course sounds amazing as does your plan. I'm hoping some of this wonderful will rub off on me! Thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good for you! I wish you success in your new found freedom from FB. It sounds as though the course you have signed up for is just the thing to help you become the writer you want to be.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The course sounds wonderful and I wish you lots of success with it as well as with your writing! Social media can be wonderful, but it can also be time consuming and disheartening! Good for you for realizing that you needed a more positive experience. I look forward to hearing more!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like you have a concrete plan to move forward. (I admire you for taking Facebook off of your phone. It's something I've talked about, but haven't done -- yet.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I always learn so much from you! I'm curious about this course that you signed up for. I think I need something like that too. Isn't it crazy though that we pay someone to give us for deadlines?? Whatever it takes, I suppose. :)) Happy summer!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like you have found purpose and meaning for your writing. That is critical. We have found it to be a journey - different things at different times are often needed. Best of luck with writing this summer!
    Clare

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm sorry about your experience on FB but am impressed that you've turned it in such a positive direction. This sounds like a wonderful plan, Kimberley. Have a wonderful summer of writing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. One step back, five steps forward! After two years of FB-fasting for Lent, I know the benefits it can bring. I'm going to take a hard look at how my time is spent this summer as well, and use it in a more fulfilling way. Can't wait to hear more about your writing course!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can so relate Kim. Someone in one of my FB groups told me I shouldn't post political stuff - editors/agents may not like it! The course sounds interesting - will check it out. I really don't spend much time on Fb - maybe more on twitter. I have decided as well that I must spend more time writing in June. I have had a long drought. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good luck with your plan. There is something about putting it in writing and telling the world that makes it happen I think.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good for you! There are imbeciles on FB who seem to revel in extreme and out of context responses just to prove something...you are wise to rise above it all and pursue your best self. Bravo, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a great plan!
    Well said by Tara above.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good for you. Politics injected into everything when usually not appropriate. People get mad. Think exactly like me or you don't belong. Distracts fr original purpose. IIhad similar experience, also w/writing group. Love Katie Davis and ICL, btw. Good luck w/your writing!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Ways to Help Gifted Kids Find Their Gifts

When I work with gifted kids, I'm amazed by their lack of understanding about what interests them. They know how to surf the net exhaustively for Youtube videos that make them laugh, but not what skills and practices further their interests.

Developing interests and passions is critical to these students. Many people out there tell me that this is not just for gifted kids, that their average developing child needs to know how to do this too. While of course I agree that this is true, I also think that typical academic, fine arts, and sports programs are available in most communities are enough to engage and motivate most kids. Not true of gifted children who become jaded, disinterested, and shut down quickly when a program doesn't meet their needs.
Most people think of gifted students as being prodigies who know exactly where their gifts lie. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I often question if some children who are identified as gifted will ever find thei…

Writing Short, Day 1

I've taken a new position. I'm now an editor and writer at a company called We Are Teachers. I do some article writing for them, but I also write very short pieces designed for emails or giveaways. I didn't think I'd like this kind of work, but I do! It brings me back to the importance of knowing how to write short. I've talked about this before, but here's the book I'm referencing:
And thank you, Roy Peter Clark, for soothing my guilt about writing specifically for the Tweet. In “How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times,” this amazing writer praises Twitter’s 140-character limit as a tool for “intelligent cutting.”
So, as a way to get better at my new craft, I'm re-reading his book and actually doing the activities at the end of each chapter. The first: Practice writing plain sentences that contain a grace note, one interesting word that stands out. ___________________________________________
As did Proteus, I move forward into change. I figure, I …

DigiLit Sunday: Relationships

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf..

On Sunday, I interviewed a woman named Julie Lindsay. She lives in Australia and started a company called Flat Connections. Her message to me was that Web 2.0 tools have changed the face of education. It brought the walls down so that we could all reach each other.

On  Monday, I read a book by Pernille Ripp, a teacher living in Wisconsin. In Reimagining Literacy through Global Connections, Ripp's message to me was to keep it simple when going global, the students just need to know they can connect and share who they are.

On Tuesday, I voxed Julieanne Harmatz. "Let's do this!" I said. "I've got a fourth grade, you've got a fifth. Mine is in Maine, yours is in California. Let's read together and share thoughts." She agreed.

On Wednesday, Julieanne emailed suggestions for three books she had multiple copies of. I book talked them to my students that afternoon.

On Thursday, I worked online with…