Writing about writing

Posts tagged ‘words’

My writing in 2014

Pen Zu online journal: 409 entries with 250,000+ words total for 2014!!!! Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever written that much! Feels good! Feels REAL good!

It is amazing how much writing I did in 2014.  Wow.  As I look at that number, 250,000, I am shocked that I was able to write that much in a year especially a year that was very busy for me.  If I counted the assignments, emails, and other documents that I write for school–my job–that number would jump up at least to 300k, I’m sure.  But I chose to count only the words I wrote in my journal throughout the year.

10461998_859100954118822_4151280915876541090_nDo you journal?  You should, you know.  I require my Freshman Composition students to keep an online blog for our class.  Many of them balk at it and complain a lot, but by the end of the semester, there are always a few who are glad they participated in it.  Every once in awhile, it is a means to draw the students in the classroom closer together–to create a sense of community that we can’t get via any other method.  I love that.  I personally believe that students are more open to learning and the learning process when they are comfortable in the classroom–when the classroom is a safe place where they can share without judgment.  And that non-judgment includes NOT looking at or worrying about their grammar in their blog entries.  They can simply what they want.

Of course it’s not a perfect system.  Some students wait until the last minute to post their blog entries and that doesn’t do anything at all except give them a grade–a lower grades, but still a grade.  I still have students who hate the whole process but do it because they want a good grade.  And every once in a while, I have students who post things that make me wonder…..about a lot of things.

But more often than not, their blog entries are fun to read as well as worth reading.  I am glad to do it.  I wish I could make everyone I know write/keep a journal.  I wish every single person I know would GET how healing, awesome, powerful, wonderful, and just plain cool a journal is.  I know I’m in a small class of people who actually LOVE to write.  I accept that truth.  And regardless of whether or not anyone reads what I write or even cares about what I write, I will keep writing because I am writing for myself more than I am writing for anyone else anyway.

Just keep writing……



I just wanna Write!


Hi, my name is Polly and I am addict.  I am addicted to Writing.  (And reading, but this post is about writing, so we’ll get to the Reading addiction at a different time.)  I LOVE to write.  I love writing about myself.  I love writing just for the sake of writing.  I love words.  I love running words together and seeing what results from the words I put together.  I love the act of typing words on my computer.  I still love writing by hand because there is just something about the appearance of my handwriting that says more than the words on the page are able to say about my emotional state at the moment of my writing.  I don’t write by hand so much anymore, but every so often, I will still pick up a notebook and pen (usually pink) and write my little heart out.

I am in the mood to write just about ALL the time.  I would rather write than do so many other things.  I think that everything I write should be read by EVERYONE.  That is not to say that I think my writing is better (or worse) than anyone else’s; it’s simply that I love to write so very much that I want to share that love with others.  I want others to feel it as they read what I have written and get excited about their own hobby–whatever it is that they feel passionate about–and DO IT!!!  I want to share the joy I have in the simple act of writing.

I know not everyone loves to write as I do.  That’s okay.  That is as it should be.  We should all have something that we do, though, that we LOVE to do–and we should DO IT.  There is no greater drug in the world than doing what you LOVE to do, what you are passionate about.

It is not about writing THE “Great American Novel” for me.  (Don’t get me wrong, though.  If that were to happen, it would thrill my soul!)  It is not about BEING a great writer or even being recognized as a [great] writer.  Sure it would be nice if my name was as popular on the lips of readers as that of Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, Jodi Picoult’s, or even John Greene’s.  But more than being recognized as a writer, I simply LOVE TO WRITE.

Writing, for me, is the same as breathing.  I HAVE TO DO IT or die.  I love to do it.  I want to write.  I can’t wait until I come to a place in my day when/where I can sit down and just write.  It doesn’t matter what I write.  It doesn’t matter if what I write has any substance or will be read by anyone but me.  I simply want to WRITE.

I find that everything else in my life (except reading) tends to get pushed to the side and much lower on my list of priorities because Writing is THE priority for me.  I love it!  If you read what I write, thank you.  I hope something about it is enjoyable for you because I sure had fun writing it!!!


The Incredible Power of Words


First of all, I have to say that I am still in deep mourning over the death of the wonderful, amazing, super-fantastic Robin Williams.  The world truly lost a bright, shining light with his death.  I still can’t believe he won’t be making any more movies.  I must enjoy the ones he made all the more, then.  Dead Poet’s Society has always been one of my absolute favorite movies of all time.  I can’t watch it often, though, because it is so powerfully moving that I sob hard enough to cause a headache!  Robin’s performance in that movie inspired me more than anything else as a teacher.  Every single time I teach poetry, I want to tell my students to rip out the pages that tell them how to interpret/understand poetry and have them all stand on the desk saying, “O Captain, My Captain!”  Of course I don’t do it because I want my teaching to be my own rather than a copy-cat, but I hope I still do SOMETHING to inspire them as to the power of the written word.

Robin’s quote here, “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world” are words that I live by.  I have always believed in the power of Words.  I love to write.  I love to read.  It is so difficult for me to believe that there are truly people in the world in world who don’t love to read and/or write!  (Of course, there are those who can’t believe that there are people like me who struggle to understand math!)  But I have to say that I have never known math to change the world as Words do.

I have had my whole life change at various times throughout my life through words fitly spoken.  I have realized how wrong I was about ideas or beliefs because of the words spoken to me–often when someone tells his/her own personal story.  I have rediscovered joy in my life because of the power of Words.  I started reading everything I could get my hands on about joy and through all those words, I am finding true joy again and climbing out of depression.

I can’t help but wonder what words must have been spoken to Robin Williams in his last days, hours, moments that lead to him choosing death over life.  I don’t believe that anyone said anything to him on purpose to hurt him or make him do what he did, but I can’t help but believe that someone said something or he read something that sent him into a downward spiral worse than anything he’d ever experienced and he could no longer deal with the pain.  The man who brought so much joy and laughter to our lives through his words may possibly have been brought to his lowest of lows with words.  We may never know, but I can’t help but wonder.

ThirteenReasonsWhyA few short years ago, a student contacted me to tell me about a book she had read that she felt I would love to read, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher.  The day she contacted me, I went to Barnes and Noble, bought the book, and finished reading it before going to bed for the night!  What a powerful book that reminds us of the power of our words and actions.  Hannah describes in her story 13 reasons why she has chosen to commit suicide.  So much of what motivates her focuses on the words of the people around her.  Jay Asher’s book is an incredibly powerful reminder of how our every word and action affects those around us.  We may never know how they affect others, but the important thing to remember is that our words and actions should be uplifting as much as possible.

I have lived so much of my life in a deeply depressed state.  I hated being there.  I have no idea of the effect I had on others who were around me while I was in such a state of deep depression.  What I do know now, though, is that I want to be a light in the lives of the people around me.  I want to radiate joy and happiness.  I want to be someone who speaks joy and life into the lives of those around me.  I want to make a positive difference in the lives of those who come into contact with me.

In my writings, I desperately want to write something that changes someone’s life.  I think that’s what drives me each and every day to write.  We never know when or what we say will make a difference in the life of SOMEONE.

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