writing meditation

Habit is persistence in practice.

Yesterday’s quote from Octavia Butler made me wonder about habits. What I persist in and why. And as a believer in practice, what should I practice? What habits have I created? What could grow from the past 31 days?

I came to the March daily slicing challenge after a long period of not writing. Wary of the stress that daily publishing and commenting could create, I was on guard. Protective, I suppose.

I was surprised to find the work a pleasure.

I managed to banish my inner critics, Brilliance and Failure. For some reason, I don’t know why, I let both go. Most of the time. It’s not to say, I didn’t have moments when their cousins Perfection and Doubt threatened. But most days I allowed myself to ignore them.

Perhaps it’s Vanity that has waned, knowing it lives in an imaginary place.

Stepping out of March and into April, I’d like to think a habit has started to form. One that dismisses criticism that gets in the way of doing things that create an interesting life.

And on that note, what follows is my attempt at “a golden shovel poem” for the final day of March 2021.

I question my landscape, searching, to attach value, to identify a habit

worthy of pursuit. Does it require ability to sustain, or, is

knowledge a deterrent to dreams? Is persistence

bequeathed genetics that conjure tenacity in

spite of fatigue and obstacles? Or, is it faith that compels the spirit to practice.


Day 30 slice of life daily challenge 2021
Read more slices here

26 thoughts on “writing meditation

    • I hope you try it. Last weekend, The New York Times did a feature on it and challenged readers to try with a headline. Look it up if you have a chance.

  1. Wow, I love how you expanded the thoughts in this tiny quote to ask questions about what it is really. “Bequeathed genetics that conjures tenacity”? (Wow, what powerful word choices there.) Or is it faith? Nice post.

    I hope you and Lakshmi will join us next month for the EthicalELA poetry challenge. I wrote my first Golden Shovel poem last April with a wonderful group of teacher/poets.

  2. Faith DOES compel the spirit to practice! This is a fantastic Golden Shovel, lovely ending note to the Challenge which so beautifully conveys your hopes – and your fears – about sustaining the writing habit. This line in your post is mighty: “I was surprised to find this work a pleasure.” When we show up for the writing…the writing shows up for us. If you come back on Tuesdays for the weekly SOLSC – I will see you there. Thank you for this meaningful meditation.

    • Yes! When we show up, the writing shows up. I am planning on weekly slicing. This month has introduced me to new bloggers and rekindled my connection to old friends. See you then!

  3. Congratulations on completing the challenge, which sounds like it’s been especially rewarding to you. Your reflections sparked some in me and these words really resonated: “I’d like to think a habit has started to form. One that dismisses criticism that gets in the way of doing things that create an interesting life.” Here’s to creating an interesting life!

  4. I’m so glad your voice joined the March Challenge (even though I did not). I have missed your thoughtful posts delivered to my mailbox. What an incredible ending to a successful month. 🙂

  5. It is faith! Loved sharing the SOLC with you this year. Your poetry has grown too. Should I push you to join Poetry Friday?

  6. I personally find the Golden Shovel format rather challenging. You brilliantly created it, chose the just right words, arranged the lines carefully and they carry the meaning strongly.

    • Creating that poem started with prose. I placed each word the end of a paragraph. I thought that was where I would stop. But then I thought, I’d try to edit it down. A really interesting experience I wouldn’t have been able to do if I hadn’t allowed myself room to write the prose first. I’d be interested to know how others access it.

  7. So glad you took up this challenge this March. I so enjoyed seeing you here, reading your slices and appreciate the comments you gave me, too. WOW! Today’s poem is lovely. I’ve tried but only struggled with the golden shovel format which makes me apprecate your post today even more. Have a great rest of the school year and I hope to “see” you here on a Tuesday, next March or maybe at TC or NCTE at a future time. Fingers crossed.

    • Yes! I have loved being here and reading. your posts. The connections we have made over time are nurtured here. Going over to check your writing out now!

  8. Dear Julieanne,
    I just wanted to say, that once again I very much enjoyed every single one of your posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and putting them into beautiful writing all through March.
    Best wishes, Alex

  9. I love this quote as the center for your reflection. The golden shovel poem is a fitting way to end the challenge. I love the idea of using it with a quote (or I looked in your comments) a headline. Thanks for the inspiration. Adding it to my ideas list!

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