When I went into this self study, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do: I would carve out time for myself to write more during the year, attend to and nurture the writer in me that seemed on a distant but parallel path to my teacher-self. Running on what seemed like two parallel lines, these two selves rarely seemed to touch. In the end, while I didn’t actually end up writing, I discovered more points of convergence between teacher Jane and writer Jane than I had thought possible.
In an earlier post, I wrote about my self study through the metaphor of “driving at night with headlights,” a mantra that my teacher E. L. Doctorow used to use, and one that I had always found particularly centering. These words capture most of my process as a writer. Now, after my work this year, I also know that they inform my teaching practice more than ever.
Yesterday, as I sat down to write for the first time this summer, I read back through a notebook of mine from last summer, in which I’d written about a drawing I’d done. Here are some of the notes I took on my process of creating the drawing:
“I chose the chalk so I could layer and smudge and change, and I did — outlining and then filling in and transforming the image over time, making it something else entirely. ….So this is my process and in the end I created beautiful things. I just needed to give myself the time to fill in the pieces… So what I can take from this is keep at it, don’t doubt myself, and allow for the transformation.”
I think this captures quite well my journey and will serve as a guide for how I can approach the next chapter of my career.