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About Selfish Writing (117/365)

Today, I'm struggling to get settled on a writing topic. For the most part I've got one of several things happening, which contributes to a writing system that seems to work for me.

  • A topic kicks around in my mind. I sketch out a post that I finish later on in the week.

  • A topic sparks in my mind in the morning, based on something I'm reading, listening to, or talking about. It turns into a piece I write, as I latch that thought to a life event.

  • I go to a bank of thoughts I've collected, that I can elaborate on with relative ease.

Today, nothing. And I'm not sure why. Most of today was between very good and great.

This led me to actually panic a bit. Knowing my day wasn't going to slow down before I did for the day, I got a bit frantic.

Would today be the day I break my streak, the day I hang it up?

Then I realized something important - through all of this self-chatter, I was being selfish.

Remembering I'd read "Selfish Writing" this week in one of the many email newsletters I subscribe to, all of the sudden, my mind was set as ease. So. Incredibly. Relatable.

If you're unsure who to write for, you can write for yourself.

- Morgan Housel

That's what I'll do then. In this post, I'll write for myself.

What could I write about?

Things I'm grateful for this week:

  1. A follow-up conversation with a kid about backyard chickens. Our conversation started when he was in fifth grade. And it picked back up this week on a stairwell landing, around dozens of middle school kids. He's in eighth grade now. And he initiated the chat by asking, "So how are your chickens?"

  2. A spontaneous football toss I was asked to join at recess. The invite came from an unlikely source: an 11 year old girl, who threw a tight and accurate spiral. When asked her where she learned how to throw a dart like that, with an ear-to-ear smile, she threw another dart into my hands.

  3. An impromptu discussion I had with a second year middle schooler. Last year he struggled, often finding himself in unfavorable situations. This year? He's decided to turn it around. His goal? To have fewer conversations in the office than the one he was in when we were talking. Enough said. Duly noted. Onwards and upwards.

  4. An opportunity to publicly praise an unsung school hero: a dedicated school bus driver. After creating a sense of safety and order, the responsibility is to deliver kids to and from school and home safely. Last, turn their backs, eyes on the road, they trust the kids to do the right thing...then they do, because of the driver who has created a community of mutual respect with "kids today" who pull through and make us proud.

  5. Proofreading a series of college application essays. As a parent, this is my second time around. Both times now, I marvel at how similar applying to college is to working a full-time job. And this is for a "kid" who attends school, works a job, has an active social life, volunteers, and believes in making the world a better place for others.

So this post, if you've gotten this far down, is selfish. But it's got me feeling grateful for having a space to unpack my thoughts on why I'm a proud principal, parent, and person.

Thanks for reading.

Click here to visit the Learning Leadership 365 site, where you may read all posts I've written.


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