Got Grit?

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Grit, what is it? Perseverance and persistence in the face of adversity. As a writer, lately, I have lacked grit. I’ve thought a lot about grit as it pertains to students and their stamina and persistence, but I haven’t spent time thinking about how it applies to me as a writer. Not lately anyway. You see, even though my name isn’t on the site, I would have considered myself a year round slicer. Up until this fall, I have sliced weekly since March 2012 unless something major came up, and I have done the March month-long madness of slicing daily.

Then, the adversity came. The struggle. The site changed–two writing teachers became many writing teachers. I was overwhelmed with all the changes and all the new faces. The automatic updates multiplied, and suddenly I was looking at 6 writing teachers and a lot of emails. One week I was reading a post that defined a slice, and I thought that maybe my slices weren’t really slices and that I didn’t fit the mold anymore. I questioned whether my writing and experimentation fit the slice mold. Even though one of the six affirmed me as a writer in response to my negative post, I think I was looking for an excuse to not write–my muse had disappeared and I just didn’t feel like struggling through the museless time of writing. It was akin to approaching a complicated math problem. I didn’t feel like figuring it out, I lacked stamina, so I shut down and quit writing weekly or bi-weekly or whatever. That was December.

A few weeks ago the bright orange slice shined through an email as if taunting me to join in  the March Madness of slicing daily. I still didn’t know…would I go back? Was I a part of this community still? Did I really want to struggle through a month of daily writing after all this time off?

Finally, last night the thought of getting grittier as a writer came to me as I reflected, “Geez, Maya, you’ve let go of yourself as a writer because you were overwhelmed. How are you going to join a teaching team for KMWP (my local National Writing Project). Girl, you better get some grit!”

Okay, let me tell you, if I make up my mind and decide to follow through, I have grit. Who was I kidding? In times of writing doubt, I gotta get a little grit out and start tapping on the keys. Today I received blog updates from five emails of folks I have sliced with before, and I know that negative talk was a self-made load of excuses to not write.

If you’ve never seen Angela Duckworth’s TED Talk on grit, check it out:

Also, check out This is Grit.

Welcome to March Madness. Got Grit? Even if my muse has disappeared, I will see this through. Perhaps that’s the only way to find my muse. Well, that and changing the theme of my blog to include my favorite color. Maybe that will help, too.

I look forward to this month. Somewhere along the way, I know I will find my muse.

Join me, and let’s get gritty.

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9 thoughts on “Got Grit?

  1. I am with you! I really think we all have this struggle in one way or another. We are writers because we write. We all have something to say, a story to tell and insight to share.

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  2. Paul

    I really hesitated about doing this again this year, and am still not completely sold, but — I’m in. Grit it is. I will think of this post when I struggle.

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  3. Your post resonated with me. I too have been gone. I think sometimes we need to nourish our writing soul in different ways. Sometimes being dormant is part of the growing time. Glad you are back.

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  4. Glad you are back, Maya. I felt the same way for awhile. Seemed like there were too many changes and I didn’t know if I fit anymore. But I started writing for me and decided I would just keep writing for me, no matter what. Hoping to find my own “grit” this month, so thanks for the videos!

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  5. I appreciated your honest post. It is easy to convince ourselves that outside reasons keep us from doing what we want to do. It takes grit to admit when the adversity may come from within, It takes courage to acknowledge this. I love the word grit! I need to use this with my students! I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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