Saving Up Ideas

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hThis past fall, after completing the first narrative writing prompt of the year, A. turned in his story.

“It’s not very good,” he confided. “I didn’t want to use up my best idea at the very beginning of the year!”

I took the paper and smiled inwardly, and groaned a little. Clearly we had a lot to talk about. 🙂 But yesterday, I found myself remembering this moment and reacting somewhat differently.

I’ve been uneasy about signing up for the SOL Challenge this year. Earlier this month, after some internal debate, I signed up for the Welcome Wagon. But now that it was time to actually sign myself up to participate, I balked. I looked at the form and couldn’t quite bring myself to fill it out. It would be my fifth year participating, but I found myself hesitating.

March is a very challenging month at school (report cards, conferences, crummy weather…), and  I’ve been working on my writing in other areas, and also on my photography. There’s only so much energy to go around, right? I was uncertain if I wanted to commit to blogging every day. Just thinking about that felt more than a bit overwhelming. I was developing a major case of cold feet. I could always back out of Welcome Wagon, right? Or maybe I could still do that, but not write myself?

Then I remembered that every year I get so much out of participating in this challenge. My writing gets a work out and I live life with a more writerly eye. The more I write, the more I find to write about. There’s also the wonderful sense of writing with a community, taking on that challenge together and supporting each other through it. Finally, I took a deep breath and signed up.

Then, last night I debated. Should I slice today? I had a potential idea, but maybe I should save it for Friday when the challenge starts….

That brought me full circle, back to the memory of A. and his one good idea. I had smiled and groaned then, but right now I could really relate to what he had said and fully empathize. If looking at 31 days in a row is intimidating, just think about looking at an entire academic year!

In the end, I obviously did slice today, but happily, I still have that potential idea on hold. Maybe Friday…




18 thoughts on “Saving Up Ideas

  1. I hope that you DO decide to participate in the March SOL, but I definitely hear you…

    And yes, I also found the same experience participating last year – my writerly eye is sharpened.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. margaretsmn says:

    I relate to this so much. This will be my eighth year, and, like you, I have other writing I need to do (specifically National Boards renewal). But I did sign up, and I’m doing it…with you and everyone else. We got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m right there with you, Molly! I know you were on the fence, but am so glad you climbed over to the other side. We will be good to ourselves, and if we have a day when we just feel like it can’t happen, we will be good to ourselves. Hang onto that idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Adrienne says:

    I balk every year because I know how much work it is. Like you, I also know how much better my writing is on the other side of March.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amanda Potts says:

    I’m glad to hear that someone else is going through this. It’s only my second year, and I *loved* the energy I got from this last year, but I also remember the commitment, and I find myself nervous. Still, I’ve signed up. We shall see what happens…

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Another huge benefit of the month is discovering new writers to follow. I was immediately hooked on your writing last year and now every time your posts pop up in my Inbox, I smile. I know I’m in for a treat! You are a wonderful writer, and I’m so glad you’re going to participate again this year.


  6. terierrol says:

    Thanks for reminding me of why I do want to slice this March! I enjoy your writing and insights, don’t stop now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mgminer says:

    It’s like you were in my head listening to the debate going on there. I decided this year was a yes and saved an idea for Friday, too! Your beginning hooked me and I loved how you used the interaction with a student to tell your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Alice Nine says:

    It is so good to know that I am not alone! Your words are the thoughts I’ve wrestled with often for the past two weeks. I signed up…. will I make it every day? I will answer that on the other side of March. I must confess, I too relate to Student A’s thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Alice, I’m so glad to hear you’ll be slicing, too. We’ll all support and inspire each other through this marathon and arrive in April triumphant (no matter how many days we write!) and a bit bedraggled! lol Just in time to write poetry!


      • Alice Nine says:

        That’s right. Two months! I always love reading your posts. I think I will be posting a lot of rough drafts. Perhaps I will “stamp” them “Rough Draft” the way my students would do their papers when they didn’t want to or didn’t have time to revise. I could just put ROUGH DRAFT in red on the first line of the post. Or I could designate all of the “Morning Pages from A9 Journals.” I kinda like that one… Whoa… I think I’m writing a slice here instead of a comment. Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

        • mbhmaine says:

          Alice, I was in a writing group once and at the end of each session we shared what we’d written that day. You could pass if you really wanted to, but when you shared, you weren’t allowed to make excuses for your writing. You could only say, “I just wrote this” and then share. Pretty similar to your “ROUGH DRAFT” idea. I never thought about writing that at the head of my posts but now you’ve got me considering it….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s