Yesterday, I summoned up all my courage and submitted a collection of poems to a writing contest. Then I came home and worked on a poem for Laura Shovan’s annual daily writing prompt project. This year’s theme is Found Objects. Here is the object for February 1st:
Laura posted this photo on Friday. On Sunday I’d written a draft—which is the object of this month-long writing adventure—then went about the many other tasks on my list for the day.
After a busy day at school, errands, and grocery shopping, I sat down to take a quick look at my draft before I posted it on Laura’s website. As I read, I had a sinking feeling. I convinced myself that my poem was terrible and not worth sharing.
Fast forward 24 hours. I spent the day watching my students take risks reading words they didn’t know, explaining their thinking about the theme of the book they were reading, and drafting nonfiction books. I marveled at their persistence and courage. They inspired me to come home and share this poem:
the musty confines of
this worn pine box,
from years of use,
a cache of pencils
wait in silence.
Inside their graphite
a cacophony of words,
some sweet, some sour,
eager to escape.
© Catherine Flynn, 2016
After all, in the words of Ray Bradbury, “You only fail if you stop writing.”
Thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for this space for teachers and others to share their stories each Tuesday. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.