#oneword2020: Last Chance CHALLENGES- 12/27/2020

I have been so preoccupied with finding my #oneword2021 lately, that I almost forgot that I still had a few days left in 2020 to CHALLENGE myself. Rather than focusing on the last couple of days of 2020, I was jumping forward into the new year without giving my #oneword2020 any last chances to manifest. This past Saturday, this thought struck me as I watched a Teachers On Fire Roundtable discussion. Tim Cavey (@MisterCavey) was interviewing authors and asking them about their writing process and any advice that they had for aspiring writers. I was excited about this discussion. I knew Rachelle Dene Poth (@Rdene915)already from her books and her blog, but the other authors, Jill DuBois (JillDuBois22) and David Frangiosa (DavidFrangiosa). In 2020, I had started writing a draft of a book and wanted to hear what advice these authors might have.

It was such an amazing experience! Listening to these authors' processes was illuminating and led me to several realizations.

  1. My draft did not need to be 100% completed

During the discussion, I posted a question in the chat asking if they had finished their book draft completely before sending it to a publisher. I was surprised to hear that it depended on the publisher. Some publishers want more of a proposal or pitch, while others wanted a more than 50% completed draft. Wait, I thought, I probably have enough to send something out. When Rachelle saw that and she shared that she thought I had a book in me, I was touched. I love how Rachelle amplifies other educators in her blog and was honored that she has posted four of my blogs as guest posts.

2. Blogging Helps You Find Your Audience..

Each of the authors shared how blogging was an important part of their writing journey. Blogging helped them find their audience. Almost two years ago when I started blogging, I wasn't sure anyone would read my blog or care about what I had to say. Samantha Fecich (@SFecich) told me then that I had a story that others needed to hear. I believed her. That lead me to me taking a leap and starting my blog. John Meehan (@MeehanEDU) shared during #pd4uandme chat that blogs become chapters and chapters become books.

3. I could CHALLENGE myself and send in my proposal or pitch now.

During the roundtable, I wrote down the name of the publishers who had published these authors' work. I could check and see if I was ready to send a proposal into any of them. It might not go anywhere, but maybe it will. Jill DuBois shared how she sent her children's book to several publishers that didn't work out and then, she took a chance and sent it to one more publisher. That publisher loved her work and now she is working on her second book. So in the words of Tara Martin (@TaraMartinEDU), I cannonballed in and sent my proposal to two publishers. I was so excited to hear back from one and am looking forward to discussing my proposal later this week.

This year has been all about taking risks and seeing where they lead. Some of these risks have led me to much success with things like presenting at conferences. Others helped me learn along the way. To close 2020, I added some other CHALLENGES to the mix.

What other CHALLENGES could I end 2020 with?

  1. Last week, my husband and I took a risk and painted both of our girls' bedrooms, For someone who had never painted ANYTHING before, I was amazed at how good I was at taping and how much I enjoyed painting. The joy in taking something from one form and seeing how it transformed was incredible,

  2. Today, I decided to continue in my journey to find my #oneword2021 and participated in a Word Journey party hosted by Lindsay Titus (ltitus828). That was definitely something new for me and really helped me to find the perfect word for this year.

  3. This coming Saturday, I am going to be one of the panelists for Teachers on Fire sharing my #oneword2021 along with other amazing educators. Rather than worry about any imposter syndrome, I am just going for it!

CHALLENGE changed my life!

Setting my #oneword2020 as CHALLENGE changed my life and even though this year was far from easy, it set me up for a mental toughness, a perseverance that helped me get through tough times and take risks that I would never have previously attempted. My #oneword2021 will do the same, but this time, I want to take it to the next level and I can't wait!