The 7th graders are getting ready to jump into NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) Wednesday I gave the kids a pep talk to get them excited. I talked about my dream of being a novelist and the voices in my head that always convince me that I can't do it.
When I came by on Friday, the kids asked me if I was going to write my novel this time. I saw the trust in their eyes, and I also saw their fear and silent pleas to go with them in this scary risk. I heard myself saying, "Yes," and then I had a panic attack.
The kids smiled and started giving me pep talks. Hearing my words sent back to me like that was amazing. "If I can do it, you can do it." "Don't be a quitter." "You will be rich and famous." "Just start with a genre."
I was humbled by this lesson from my frogs. Life lessons are more important than curriculum. We may not reach 50,000 words or become best-selling authors, but we will be better people for our efforts. There is much to be said for perseverance, believing in ourselves and one another, and not always taking the easy way out.
If you need me, I will be typing my 7,000 words I pledged to have for Friday.