I was leafing through my writer’s notebook and happened upon that obligatory entry we all do with our students: the heart map. It’s a staple for writing instruction. Whatever variation you prefer, it is probably stuck in the pages of every notebook across the world: folded or not, colored or not, detailed or not, illustrated or not…it shows the things that are deep within. Or at least the things that you can write about in front of your kids. 🙂
As I look at my heart I chuckle, I cry, I cringe, I reminisce, and my mind starts creating. What piece of my heart stands out today? The gargantuan buckets of candy my mom provided to us on our trips to Florida? Freddie, who my seven-year old self-created as a doodle that I still use today at 34? How I probably single-handedly supported Oak Lawn Public Library growing up due to me taking out so many books there was no conceivable way I could keep track and ended up paying an insane amount of fines? The snow igloos we basically lived in as kids whenever it snowed? I already wrote about how cancer broke my heart. I already wrote about when Mr. Koehler claimed my heart as his own. I already wrote about my pets, my nieces, and my love of chocolate.
When I sit and stare at the blank screen, I must remember that I have a multitude of possibilities. Maybe I just need to sit in my notebook for a bit longer and let some of them fester. One thing that I have learned through this challenge and now, beyond it, is that as a writer, I just need to write. For me. And only for me. So I’m off to fester and maybe you’ll see some of it and maybe you won’t. 😉