Is there something...anything...that you do every day?
Something challenging...rewarding...fun? Something you enjoy for it's own sake?
Writing's fast becoming that practice, for me.
Sure, I also drink more water, eat right. exercise, and practice mindfulness. There are strategies I employ to ensure I do this. And, there are days when, for one reason or another, I skip a daily practice.
When this happens, I forgive myself, knowing I'll resume the next chance I get (usually the next day).
But not with writing. Never, with writing.
I started after reading Atomic Habits. (Surely, you've heard me talk about this or have read my writing about this.)
And since, I've gravitated towards others who specialize in the science of habit formation and maintenance, and noticed it in others who I know, when they bring this up.
I read about it, as often as possible. Most recently, I'm reading Super Better, which is based on the thought-provoking TED Talk by Jane McGonigal, Gaming Can Make a Better World.
What makes an activity fun is not the nature of the activity, but how you approach it, with a focus on the potential pleasure, excitement, and enjoyment. The same exact activity can be fun or work, something to avoid or to something to dive right into, simply because of the way you describe it to yourself.
For the last 4 1/2 months or so, I have written and I have published something I've written.
Some posts are long and winding, some are "short and sweet".
Some are posted to my blog site, and others, to typeshare.co, a new social platform.
Some are reworked from my old blog from years ago, and some are brand new.
Some posts are thematic in nature, and some are fairly, unapologetically, random.
Some are about ideas I'm contemplating or processing; some are stream-of-thought.
Some center on learning to write, some, on writing to learn, and some, are both.
Some are written for the reader, and some I've written for myself.
All involve a degree of risk, vulnerability, and a sense of "ah-ha" and at times, "duh".
Then, I used to monitor and at times, obsess over views, comments, and Twitter retweets.
Now, the satisfaction is in thinking, writing, "shipping", and engaging my learning flywheel.
Why am I writing about this topic, today? It's because I've got some time and space to think.
This writing thing, I'm realizing, is not about me.
It's about kids, how we teach and how they learn.
I'm thinking a lot lately about kids who have been in school, out of school due to a global pandemic, and are again, back in school, "back to normal." This one's got me thinking:
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
- Alvin Toffler
These ideas bring both a new degree of clarity and of complexity to a conversation I'd had with a colleague, years before March 2020, back when things were... "normal".
It's when I first started to notice how, society and all it's "baggage" has entered our schools.
I'd said, times are changing, and if we're not careful, sooner rather than later, kids will be speaking a language different from that spoken by adults. Thanks to social media, and to platforms we know like Snapchat and TikTok (and many our kids are using, of which we are not yet aware), it's happening.
It's happening right in front of us. And it's accelerating at a rate that's not going to wait for adults to catch up or be comfortable with the change.
Why do I seem like I am on a soapbox? Don't misunderstand me. I'm hopeful.
I'm no heretic, nor am I a futurist. I'm a moderate progressive, an impatient optimist.
I'm someone who believes in learning and believes we are all learners. And I believe in kids.
The key is for adults to accept and embrace our role as learners as much as we are teachers.
If we are to understand the language our children are speaking, and stand a chance of becoming conversational, if not fluent, we adults must commit to understanding what it means to be...gameful. More gameful in our commitment to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Committing to being more gameful will enrich our experiences and the experiences of children. And it will change how we see and how we do school, and life.
Read my previous post (132/365), Ideas from...Jane McGonigal.
Click here to visit the Learning Leadership 365 site, where you may read all posts I've written.