When we talk about identities in our workshops, my perception is always that I am a reader. Writing is what other, more creative, people do. I sympathize with the students who struggle to write. It is hard. I could (can) never meet a deadline and the process was (is) hard. It is no exaggeration that two paragraphs represent (-ed) at least eight hours of cross-outs, starting overs, and doubts. I have never just sat down and whipped anything out.
Back in March, when I started to slice, I still viewed myself as a reading person. My aim, again, was not to Be a Writer, but a teacher who would be in a better position to help student writers. I felt it unfair to ask students to write, if I didn’t.
The daily challenge, which turned into weekly, propelled me to write. Did the process get easier? No. Did my pace ever pick up? No. I would spend so much time on these pieces, l often had to read and comment other postings the next day.
Yet. I began to think of things I could write about as I pursued typical daily activities. I took note of what other slicers did. I started figuring out, in my head, different ways I could write about something. As I read, I wrote down interesting words. And finally, finally. ..when I read, it was easier to notice the craft involved.
The act of writing on a continual basis shifted my perception. I am still a reader but one who has begun to think like a writer. This is what I want to tell my students. It will happen to them, if they keep writing.