During a tutoring session with a high-schooler this afternoon, I watched her write descriptively about a long-remembered place near and dear to her heart. As she described each room, she’d wander off momentarily revisiting memories of Christmas tree decorating with her grandmother, fishing with her grandfather, and game nights with cousins. I found myself getting lost in the reverie along with her, watching her choose the perfect words to describe the place in her childhood where she recalled being most deeply and truly happy.
In those moments, I envied her a little bit. Not just because I miss my own childhood memories and family reunions, but because she had both the opportunity and the directive to creatively write.
I miss writing.
I’m a language arts and English teacher, so I have plenty of time to talk about writing, to read about writing, to teach kids how to write well. I guess didn’t realize how much my heart longs for moments spent simply weaving words together in a creative form.
It’s been nine years since I wrote my first book, eight years since the second. Since that time, life has been profoundly busy with college and a transition into teaching. I love that after all those years, I went to college and earned an education degree. I love that I am firmly established in a teaching career I love with all my heart.
But I really miss writing. And I need to figure out a way to make time for it. Somehow.
Long before I wrote my first actual book, I wrote a children’s book manuscript I tucked away and guarded from the public eye. A children’s book needs an illustrator, and I didn’t have one. So I let it sit. And it’s been sitting for twenty-five years.
It might be time to dust it off.
There is a part of me I know will never be complete without a regular practice of creative writing. I tell my students that one of my main goals as a teacher is to instill such a love for writing in their hearts that they can’t not write. If I want my example to be a solid one, which of course I do, I reckon I’d better start practicing what I teach.