One year ago today, November 22nd, this blog was born. I left NCTE in Chicago knowing I had to start writing. I had the far off goal of wanting to publish some writing, but the short-term goal of wanting to write because I knew it would make me a better writing teacher.
And in a year, both goals have been accomplished. I am absolutely a better writing teacher. I’ve also been fortunate enough not only to “publish” here but on Nerdy Book Club and Choice Literacy as well. And today seems like a good day to reflect on everything this blog – and the other two sites – has brought me:
· The knowledge of how scary it is to share your writing.
· The realization that criticism hurts, even when given for good reasons.
· On the reverse side, I know how much compliments and comments mean to a writer. Just the fact that you notice what they’ve done is huge.
· I’m part of amazing communities: Slice of Life; It’s Monday, What are you Reading?; Choice Literacy; and Nerdy Book Club
· I’ve been part of blog tours for new books.
· Met great authors of children’s books.
· Connected with many wonderful authors of professional books as well.
· And I’ve learned a lot – about writing but also about teaching. Diving into the world of blogging myself has started friendships with authors of other blogs. I read their posts and learn each day.
Honestly, when I wrote that first post one year ago I assumed this blog would mainly be for me. And I think that was a smart stance, I needed to be ok if no one ever read it or commented. My thought was it would be an online journal for myself – reflection on the classroom, inspiration, and my love of books and teaching all written down in one spot. But so many of you have stopped by, commented, and subscribed. I can’t thank you enough for all of your encouragement.
It isn’t much but I have a $15 gift card to Barnes and Noble to give away today. I would much prefer to give you a gift card to an independent bookstore, but wanted anyone across the country to be able to use it. Fill out the form below if you’d like to be entered and thanks for being part of this amazing first year, I am absolutely grateful today for all of you. And of this blog, I am certain; the best is yet to come.
1. This giveaway will run from November 22nd until 11:59 pm November 25th. (Central time zone)
2. This contest is open to people living in the continental United States.
3. You must be at least 13 years to enter.
4. If you can, please pay it forward. Thanks!