Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Sunday, March 10, 2013

No Back Seat Driving


I am doing the A-Z challenge; today’s letter is W  for-what else-writing.

No Back Seat Driving

For many people writing is either the easiest or the hardest thing to do.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground.  I taught language arts at the middle school level for sixteen years, so I have seen both ends of the spectrum.  I could read one paragraph of a student’s writing, and form an immediate opinion as to which side of the fence he or she was standing.

All of my classes were grouped heterogeneously.  That means that the kids ran the gamut from exceptionally bright, to very challenged.  Before California adopted the Standards, we were required to teach eight different domains of writing.  I won’t list them all, but it included a short story, a biographical piece of writing, an autobiographical piece, a descriptive piece, and a report of information.  Students seemed to apply themselves fairly well to the assignments, but it was a lot of work for me.

Once we got technology involved, it seemed to go better, because kids naturally preferred typing to long-hand.  I had nine computers in my class, at one point in time, and that made for a generally better approach to the whole matter of writing.  We even had computers which allowed students to talk into the microphone, and the computer would do the writing.  This allowed even the lowest-end students to produce a piece of writing.

After all, isn’t that what writing is all about?  Telling stories?  For me writing has always come naturally.  I attribute it directly to the vast amounts of reading I did as a kid.  It was really nothing more than cheap entertainment, and coming from a large family, we were encouraged to read early on.  Both of my parents read avidly, even though it is hard to fathom where they found the time.

But writing also got me into trouble, when I began to get so wrapped up in what I was writing, that I began to skip some of the basics, such as sleeping.  When I would awake in the middle of the night, and not be able to get back to sleep, I would get frustrated, and feel that I was wasting time.  Why lie in bed, when I could be doing something productive such as writing?  So I would get up and pound away at my keyboard.

Can you say manic?  I know you can.  When it was suggested that maybe I spent too much time writing and too little time sleeping, I had to back the truck up, and contemplate the universe.  Eventually I decided that just maybe, those people who were making this suggestion, just might be write, uh, right.  

Prior to doing this current A-Z challenge, I had curbed my writing to only one or two pieces per month, finding that giving it a break for a while, might allow me to gain some perspective on the whole topic.  And I think I achieved what I wanted.  I was dealing with some significant life issues, which took precedence, and I allowed them to do so.

Now that I am back in a writing mode, I still do not allow myself to get carried away.  If I want to write I do, but I do not spend more than an hour, at the most, per day, and I never write in the middle of the night, when I should be sleeping.  I had to learn the hard way that sleep is too important to take a back seat to writing. 

Besides, there is no backseat in my little Ford Ranger.  

4 comments:


  1. i'm glad you are writing again. I go in phases too - where
    i want to write in all my spare time but then i start feeling like
    i have to write and thats when i know i need to take a break.

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    Replies
    1. That's pretty interesting, JT. When you feel you have to write, you take a break. That makes sense to me.

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  2. It’s good that you found a balance because I like to read what you write.

    I like to write. I guess I would fall somewhere in the middle of your class. It doesn’t always come quite that easy for me, but sometimes it comes quite that easy for me :)

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    Replies
    1. It surprises me that it doesn't always come easy for you, Lynda. Your posts alays flow smoothly, even if your heart is sad. Thanks for sharing.

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