Tagged: How Do You Write?

I don’t normally use Ed Tech Journeys to write about myself; but I’ve been tagged by Miguel Guhlin, who was tagged by Brian from Bump on the Log. The idea is to share our writing process. How do we choose our blog topics? How do we write?

As with most questions, on the surface it looks pretty easy; and at the same time there are a lot of levels to this. I believe that the more revealing question is, “Why do you write?”

For me writing is a way for me to bring my life’s purpose into reality. I’ll reveal my purpose in a moment; but first I want you to know that I have been guided and helped along the journey of my life by wonderful people who saw the gifts of a shy and quiet boy and helped bring them into the world. When I was so self-conscious that I could barely speak, these beautiful souls coaxed my reluctant voice out of the shadows. Over time, I began to believe in myself; but it was these teachers, walking the path just a few steps ahead of me, holding a lantern in the dark of night, shedding just enough light for me to see my next step.

It’s no surprise that my purpose in life is to see that every child in every classroom throughout the world has a teacher that recognizes their unique gifts and encourages those gifts to come forth.

Writing is one of my gifts. I have a belief that using this gift in service to children is an important step in transforming my purpose from dream to reality. Developing this gift is in essence learning about myself. The more I open myself to the world, the clearer my words. The less fearful I am, the stronger my voice. The more I feel with my heart, the more my ideas connect with others.

So, in order to write well I must first open myself, dispel my fears, and connect to my heart. I have practices that help me do this. I have a teacher that acts as a mirror. In the reflection he provides, I see where I am being judgmental, where I am holding on to beliefs that no longer serve me, when I am thinking too much and not feeling, when fear is gripping me.

When I am truly open, topics appear naturally, I don’t have to think about them. When I am not afraid, words flow without effort. When I am in my heart, I see the world more clearly. It’s similar to when I walk onto the mat for a randori in Aikido. I am not sure what my attackers will do; but I trust that when they rush at me, if I don’t think too much, if I am not afraid, I’ll do the right thing, make the right moves.

Here is a brief part of a poem by Mary Oliver that captures the beauty of finding yourself and your voice amid the noise of the world…

…But little by little,
As you left their voices behind,
The stars began to burn
Through the sheets of clouds,
And there was a new voice,
Which you slowly
Recognized as your own,
That kept you company
As you strode deeper and deeper
Into the world,

Determined to do
The only thing you could do-
Determined to save
The only life you could save.

Excerpt from “The Journey” by Mary Oliver

Writing and blogging, is for me, a journey…a journey of the mind, the body, and the heart.

I would like to tag the following and hear How and Why they write:

Thomas White of Profoundly Simple and Tom Woodward of Bionic Teaching,

in appreciation


7 thoughts on “Tagged: How Do You Write?

  1. Pete, thanks for sharing! I find myself identifying with your story, and love the idea of what you describe in Akido:

    I am not sure what my attackers will do; but I trust that when they rush at me, if I don’t think too much, if I am not afraid, I’ll do the right thing, make the right moves.

    I’ll remember this. Thanks!


  2. Pete,

    Thank you for taking the time to reflect on, and respond to, the question I put forth. I am amazed at the quality and honesty of the posts I have read thus far. Like you, I too am finding that my writing has been a journey, where this journey is taking me remains to be seen. Honestly, it has been difficult for me at times, but find encouragement in posts like these. Thanks again.


  3. Peter – you continue to inspire and amaze me. Every time I read your posts it becomes increasingly difficult to understand a time that you were not comfortable with your writing. You truly have a gift and are fortunate to have mentors/teachers to help you discover your gift.

  4. Peter – keep blogging! I look forward to reading your posts. They inspire me. You have definitely found your voice.

  5. Hi Pete: I have been reading your blogs since early morning and it is nearly noon now. Your writing serves you well. And to tell you the truth I enjoyed it.

    Peter, I started trying to write in 1976. I took a writing class at Dinner Key Marina Park. It was actualy a self-exploitation class. It was the first of several classes I took over the years. The last one was in Annapolis. A retired teacher at St. John’s asked me a question I had been afraid to ask myself–What did I expect to get from my writing? It was only after I was retired a few years did I realize what it was. After seven years of writing the book that would save the world, I realize it my way to educate my self.

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