Slice of Life: Doing it Well

We need to write and write some more. If this was easy, everyone would do it and do it well. — Seth Godin

I have embraced the first part of this quote. I show up and write. What stops me in my tracks, are the last three words. What exactly does “doing it well” mean?  I have a lot of fear living around this idea.

Most days, I bury my underlying worry with the belief that by writing, I define my journey. Writing is an act of clarification. In the moment of writing, I hold on to me. Putting my recollections and thoughts on the page move me towards a better next step.

I’ve made my musings public, and a byproduct of this has been friendships. Generous and masterful teacher-writers have invited me to write alongside them.  They honor me. But the fear of doing it well has snuck up on me.

I know I will learn. Sharing in a critical venue is my next step.
Still, I worry. What if it’s bad?  I remind myself, this is the process. The value of the product hovers over me.

I think of my students, and I’m made acutely aware of where they sit. What they put on the page is risky.  Product and process. What is valued?  I believe for my students and me doing it well is doing it. Where we are right now is where we are doing it well now.

How strong my students are. Those who proudly share, who publish their thoughts and feelings. Those who say, I want to be a published writer. Those who say, I am a published writer.  How brave they are. They are my mentors.

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays.  Read more slices here.

14 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Doing it Well

  1. I share many of your feelings! I tell myeself just by writing I am “doing it well”, but I know there is sp much more for me to learn. Isn’t it great that our students can be our mentors too?!

  2. Looking to our students for strength as writers is a powerful observation. I also think, why the need to move your writing into a more critical space? Unless you are a college professor with the ancient, institutional needs to “publish a book,” I wonder why this space — so warm and so personalized — doesn’t remain your writing home. I like visiting here.

    • Kevin, don’t rain on the parade. I’m trying to get Julieanne to join our writing group. She writes so beautifully here that, in my humble opinion, her voice needs to be heard everywhere!

  3. This is a beautiful post, Julieanne, and it echoes the thoughts so many of us have. Putting ourselves out there IS risky. You are smart to remember that our students do this every day and we can draw strength from that. Keep writing!

  4. “Still, I worry. What if it’s bad? I remind myself, this is the process.” YES! I was writing yesterday and in the middle of my draft I stopped and wrote this: “This is crap. This is crap. I am never going to be able to write anything of any length with any organization. I suck. I am a crappy writer. I can’t write.” And then I continued to write. Push past that judge. You. Are. A. Writer. And I believe you are doing it well!

  5. If you value what you write, I feel that’s enough. Always growing and learning, just like your students is a good thing. I love this: “Where we are right now is where we are doing it well now.” Thanks for sharing your reflection, Julieanne!

  6. So true – writing is so full of risk. But this has also been in my thinking a lot lately: “Writing is an act of clarification. In the moment of writing, I hold on to me.” It is comforting to me to read your words here today.

  7. There is fear in being public with your words, thoughts, musings, but what the reader gains from your perspective presented is immeasurable. You have NEVER once disappointed me with the words you shared. You have a gift, keep sharing it.

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