I remember writing a spin off of The Jolly Postman in third grade. I typed it and added pictures and had so much fun adding in other characters from various books and movies. I was so proud of that book, especially because I wrote it at home in my free time by choice. I also remember creating a lot of fun short stories as a first grader on our brand new Macintosh computer using the program Kid Pix with lots of fairies. I remember bringing these stories to school to show my teachers and my friends after my parents enjoyed them first. In school I always enjoyed our thematic writing prompts and the regular opportunities to have our writing on display or occasionally exhibited in our school's monthly newsletter for all students and families to read. It wasn't until middle school that my writerly life at school changed and sort of evaporated. I did keep a journal every night since 8th grade into college, yet that kind of writing was so formulaic and boring. It wasn't the write from the heart stuff. That stuff only really came once I became a teacher myself.
Since then, I have done three things to develop my identity as a writer. First, I participated in the Puget Sound Writing Project at University of Washington where I wrote every day and participated in a writing group receiving meaningful feedback on the pieces I shared. Second, I started my own blog about life, our remodel, and starting a family, and then of course sharing my children's development. Third, I subscribed to various blogs like Two Writing Teachers and participated (twice now) in their March long slice of life challenge where being a part of a community of writers and writing every single day has been invaluable. My hope is that my students and my own children find inspiration in my writing life. My four and a half year old has already authored three books that he dictated to me and illustrated. I can't wait to read more!