100 Today

“You write just because?” I ask with an incredulous tone.

“Yes, I carry a little notebook and when I think of something I jot it down, then later I might write something,” said Kim, my co-worker during a staff meeting.

“Let me get this straight,” I continue to press her for information. “You CHOOSE to write? There’s no real purpose behind your writing?” I totally don’t get it. Why would she do this? I roll this information around in my head. It does not compute.

I have no memory of writing instruction in my school career. Writing was done to complete an assignment, usually a report. Stories of my life? No way! There was no joy in writing. If I visualize  writing from school, I see lots of red ink with phrases that have no meaning to me: run-on, fragment, verb tense. What am I supposed to do with this? That was me then.

This is me today. It is my 100th post. I can’t believe it. I am surprised. I am proud.

Last year when Ruth began her posts of “try it, you’ll like it,” I stopped and pondered the invitation. Could I create a blog? If I did, would I have anything to write about? What would be the purpose of my blog? I looked around. I saw blogs that offer ideas for teaching. I saw blogs that reviewed books. I saw blogs that I couldn’t figure out their purpose. I needed to develop a purpose.

I decided I needed to experience a writerly life if I was working with teachers to develop writer’s workshop in their classrooms. I needed to know the difficulty of putting words on the paper. (or should I say computer?) I had been a lurker in the shadows for a couple of years devouring every word of advice to writers that Stacey and Ruth wrote.

January 2011 found me in a hotel room, 270 miles from home and school was cancelled due to snow. Today I thought, I’ve got nothing but time to figure this blog thing out. As fortune would have it, it was a Tuesday. That is when Elsie Tries Writing was born.

I jumped into the pool and have made merry for the past fifteen months. When will I stop? I can’t answer that because I am having the best time creating with words. The comments encourage and support me in a way I never could have imagined. I love reading and commenting on this writing community’s blogs. You are all a very special group of people to me. Thank you for reading my words, notice craft I used, laughing with me, and talking to me through your comments.

Elsie is still trying to write, but now she enjoys it. She even writes just because. . .

33 thoughts on “100 Today

  1. mrssurridge says:

    Congrats! I am mostly a lurker but decided to take the challenge this year. Reading this motivates me to follow in your footsteps. Thanks!

  2. Congrats, elsie! I am so happy for you for so many things: for hitting 100, for playing with words, for taking a challenge, for being creative, and for sharing with the rest of us so that we can not only encourage and support you, but so that we can learn from you. I love that your writing always reads so genuinely and makes me breathe in, breathe out, and calm just a bit!

  3. Congrats on 100! “I decided I needed to experience a writerly life…. I needed to know the difficulty of putting words on the paper….When will I stop? I can’t answer that because I am having the best time creating with words” Just happy reading that. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Bravo, Elsie, BRAVO! You know, I can say the same about my own high school experience: writing was about completing assignments. Sad, eh? Thankfully, our students don’t have to experience that.
    Your writing inspires me, and your comments encourage me. I look forward to more more more . . . .

  5. Congratulations, Elsie! What an accomplishment! With so many slicers this year (and my minimal time to comment) I’ve noticed that you’re not just a daily slicer, but a prolific commenter as well! 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  6. margaretsmn says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post. Reminds me of the halls a few weeks ago filled with posters of 100 things to celebrate the 100th day of school. You amaze me. I set out to blog as a New Year’s resolution January of 2011. Now I am on my 30th post. Thanks to the Slice of Life challenge, I got out of my “writer’s block.” This community is feeding me like no other. Thanks for all you kind comments and your willingness to do this crazy writing thing.

  7. Yeah for you, Elsie. I have my hands up in the air waving back and forth with a cheer. Purpose in writing – it’s so important. I’m glad you are writing and are part of this community. Slice on!

  8. Congratulations on your 100th writing day! It amazes me how writing can change our lives. I was lucky to have a teacher in high school who saw the value of “just writing.” He very wisely advised me to write every day. I am so glad that I have “mostly” followed his advice. I enjoy reading about Elsie’s life as a writer. Thank you for sharing.

  9. 100 posts!! WOW :)How do we celebrate this? Like a birthday? Well writing is kind of like that. We create a part of ourselves and launch it out into the world. 100 “children” now on their own creating their own way! Like an anniversary? The remembrance of a special event. I enjoyed reading of the day it started.
    All ways!!
    You are very generous and thoughtful in your comments to other writers(myself included). I started this challenge this year to see what it is like to be in Writer’s workshop. For me 14 down and 86 to go. You are inspiring me Elsie!

  10. Wow, I can’t believe you ever felt the way you described at the beginning of this post! (How sad that some school experiences teach kids like you that’s what writing is. How many more amazing writers like you simply have no idea they are writers?) I love the fact that you just happened to start blogging on a Tuesday! You have been a role model and source of inspiration to me as I’ve developed my blog this year, and I am so glad I’ve gotten to “know” you through slices of life! 🙂

  11. Congratulations! I envy you and hope that this journey I have started will continue. You have summed up what has been running through my head…I need to “experience a writerly life”. This is now next to my computer. Thanks!

  12. Congratulations on your 100th post. 100 stories of your life have been recorded — just because. You should be so proud of yourself!

    Who knows what the future holds? The one thing I’m sure of is that Elsie will keep writing. 🙂

  13. First, congratulations on 100 posts! That is something to celebrate for sure! I can totally relate to your story today. I did not consider myself much of a writer until this year. That’s not to say that I never wrote. I’ve dabbled here and there. I’ve written for professional purposes and always have gotten decent responses, but I’ve never just thought of myself as a writer. I can count on my fingers…up to March 1st…the number of times I have written just to write. And for goodness sakes, I would never have shared that with anyone else! Until now. Now I see that I can do it, I like to do it and I will continue to do it! Now, I am a writer. Thanks for sharing!

  14. This is a milestone to celebrate! Good for you! And might I say you are doing a wonderful job! have enjoyed getting to know you through this year’s slice of life. Your words always hit the spot.

  15. Wow – 100 posts! I love your words, “I jumped into the pool and have made merry for the past fifteen months.” Your words inspire me to keep working at my writerly life. I took a leap this year and hope to keep hopping and writing!

  16. Lynn says:

    Oh congrats Elsie!!!!! This is such a big accomplishment. I so agree how awesome it feels reading the words of others . . . who knew?

  17. Tam says:

    I would have never guessed you were not a “writer” before 2011. You definitely have a way with words. I found myself saying many times, “I wish I could find things to write about as easily and cleverly as Elsie.” Congratulations, my writer friend, on your 100th and counting!!!!

  18. Well, first of all CONGRATULATIONS on your 100th post. It’s quite an accomplishment. Just think-100 pages! I’ve loved reading your writing all the year, Elsie & your supportive comments are just the best words every single time. Finally, love the pic of your notebook. Isn’t it fun to decorate with special things-eye candy!

  19. nancy hatcher says:

    love you and your writerly life…your notebook…thanks for sharing that …maybe I hit 100 next year; thanks to your encouragement, oh and I think I’ll just go out for a quick walk before the kids trample in today 🙂

  20. Congratulations on 100 posts!! I have so enjoyed your slices, and your comments have encouraged me. ( I have strawberries in the refrigerator calling my name, so off I go.)

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