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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

One Little Word

My OLW last year was light.  You can read about my inspiration here.  I chose this word because I wanted to celebrate all the wonderful things that bring light into my life: my family, my friends, a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning, my student’s laughter and learning, etc.  I wanted my word to remind me to appreciate those things, to remind me to notice the “lights” in my life.  I think it was a good word.  I don’t think it was the right word.  I have been very absent from the writing and blogging worlds.  My last blog post was in September, just before the start of the school year.  What?!  I haven’t blogged, I haven’t written in my notebook, I just have not written anything.

I have continued to appreciate the “lights” in my life.  I have enjoyed watching my children grow every day.  I have enjoyed watching my students take on learning and improve behaviors.  I have noticed all the little things that make me happy and create light, but I have not written about a single one.

My word wasn’t enough to inspire me this year.  I don’t know why I haven’t written.  I actually feel better when I write with some consistency.  I notice more, things feel more in place, and I feel more content.  But I haven’t been writing.  I have no grand reason or rationale for this.  I just haven’t.

As I began to think about a new word for this year, I knew it had to be good.  I knew it had to inspire me to write again.  I knew it needed to be something that connected to everything else.  It had to be a word that wouldn’t easily be forgotten.  It had to be intertwined in my life so fully that I couldn’t resist it.  That’s a lot of pressure to put on one little word!  After some suggestions from a friend and a little soul searching, I think maybe I have found it, and it makes me laugh because it’s a pretty simple word.


There are many stories I want to write.  The ones that belong to my children.  The stories that are from my students.  The stories from my head and my heart.  The novel/story I began writing last year and haven’t touched since.  I just need to write again and begin to restore the balance that writing helps me maintain.

As I began to think about my OLW, I wanted to find a way to share it.  A friend shows her’s through beautiful art.  Others share theirs through stories.  What was I going to do?

I started to notice quotes that I have around me in my everyday life that are about story.
There is the quote that hangs in my classroom:  “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” by Maya Angelou.  There is the quote that hangs in my kitchen: “Your story matters.  Share it!” that was given to me by a great friend.  “Know your heart to find your voice,” which is on a magnet hanging next to my computer.  

And, finally, there is a new quote I found by Neil Gaiman, that seems to fit just perfectly.  “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

I hope that my OLW, story, will help me do just that.


  1. Wowza, that is a GREAT OLW. Especially if you want a word that will inspire you to write! Great, great word. I'm glad you're back to blogging, and I can't wait to see where story takes you this year!

  2. I love that Gaiman quote. Sounds like your word has surrounded you--perfect! Story is a great choice and I look forward to hearing how it works in your heart and in your writing. Like you creating things makes me feel more centered and connected in my spirit and heart, sometimes that creation is writing and sometimes it is drawing, crafting, painting or art making. Sometimes it's cooking new recipes or refreshing spaces in our home. I wonder if you wrote less because you did more of a different kind of creating?

  3. I love your word from last year and I think this year's is terrific, too! I can truly relate to these lines:" I don’t know why I haven’t written. I actually feel better when I write with some consistency. I notice more, things feel more in place, and I feel more content. But I haven’t been writing." I think your word may be the perfect remedy! Here's to your story!!

  4. So great to hear from you again, Robin. I guess you've been a bit busy with all your family plus your work, so understand that writing didn't quite squeeze in. But I want to tell you how I remember that you've written some wonderful stories to share in the past & I just found that piece where you used everyone's words from slices to make a poem, maybe last year during SOLC? I'm looking forward to more stories!

  5. So excited to see you here, Robin. I remember your OLW - light - and the wonderful light-filled pictures you shared. Don't be too hard on yourself. You did notice light in your life in so many ways. And this year Story will lead you to write more! Different steps for different years.

  6. Life as a narrative. Story is a very powerful word, at the same time very caring. I believe you are going to enjoy this year of collecting and writing stories - your own, your family's and others.