Hello, my name is Hadley, and I am a master procrastinator. I don’t suffer from writer’s block like so many aspiring authors. I feel confident that I have ideas and material, and once I start writing I feel like things will fall into place. The problem is the ONCE. I suffer from writer’s procrastination.
My writing started innocently enough. I liked writing. When I was younger, it was a way for me to vent my frustrations and discover who I was. My words were fueled with the truth that was all around me yet was oblivious to the adults whom I experienced daily. My words gave me a way out of feeling trapped, so I wrote my way out of that town and embarked on a journey to be a professional writer.
Since then I’ve had career changes and added family and have grown into one of “those adults”, but somewhere along the way I lost a piece of myself. That angsty teen is still there… she’s just grown in to a more directed woman… but now there seem to be consequences to my truths. At least, perceived consequences.
I write. I write the truth. And then I pause. I worry. I project my fears of what other people may think—of hurting those I love, of being harmed by those I don’t—and then I write more to make my truth sound less harsh. What kind of a truth is delivered with a frosty beer and a side of fries to make it look more appealing? Does the truth lose some of its credibility when filtered through my fears?
I worried about this last week, so I turned to my coach. Well, darn, she was unreachable, so I turned to some of the tools my coach provided me, and I found the answer I knew all along. I must tell the truth. I must be accurate (as much as I can) and lay it out for consumption, whether it be my own or the consumption of others. Only through the telling of my truths can I experience transformation, and who knows what wonderful adventure that may be. I resolved to do just that. But there was still another person who coaches me regularly, and his opinion mattered: the husband.
You can’t hold back. I knew he would say that. He always errs on the side of supportive, and he has so much more faith in me than I have in myself. You can’t always worry what other people will think. You need to just put it out there and be you, or you are wasting your time.
My wise sage. He doesn’t worry about me hurting him or our life. He worries about me holding back and not chasing my dreams.
So here we are. This is the start. It may be crap, but it will get better. All I know right now is this is what is true. And I’m all in.
There are some differences now, though, with my writing. I write with my students in mind; I often call them my kids; even though they don’t belong to me, they are mine, and I love them. I write with my own children in mind and their futures which will be lived out eventually in the halls of the high school where I teach. I write with my coworkers in mind, and I write for all those teachers who I’ve met in the last few years or who have influenced my life in the last few decades.
I also write for those who I have been embattled with. As the grand optimist, I believe each person in education began their journey as educators with high hopes and rose-colored glasses; making a difference in the world, in the lives of their students was the ultimate goal. Somewhere along the line, these people lost sight of the goal and lost sight of those naïve, bright-eyed and brand new educators they once were. Their personal integrity was traded in for a better position or a kind word and nod from someone in power. They traded their values and what they knew to be right to gain something… they don’t know what they lost was worth so much more.
When I was a teenager, I wrote to vent, to escape, to create a brighter future for myself. I couldn’t stand up and fight the system I was stuck in because I didn’t have the support nor the skills to do so.
I am different now.
I don’t know how this will all end up. I do know that this time I am not writing myself out of town… This time I am standing up and writing to stay. For my students and myself… for us all. Enough is enough. My hope is that I can do it with truth and integrity and learn something along the way.