Somewhere inside me there’s a real desire to shout: STOP!

It appears at the sight of a new webinar/workshop/professional development opportunity in my Twitter feed. It’s there when I notice my inbox filling up with requests to register for, attend, listen to, or watch a broadcast, conference or retreat. So many ways to bolster my practice, increase my awareness, sharpen my skills, deepen my understanding, restore my confidence. All these offers to help me improve my teaching, respond to student needs, collaborate with colleagues, find joy in my work! Surely it must be a sign of overwhelm. It’s a me…

I’ve said it before that I’m not a very good dreamer. Like many, I’m more adept at criticizing than proposing and creating. My imagination extends perhaps a little farther than where I presently stand but typically not much further. At best I could call myself a skeptical optimist. On a good day.

Thank goodness, I can read. And listen. Over time, I learn.

A thing I’ve been thinking about lately is status. And specifically in the way that Tressie McMillan Cottom describes it in her recent interview with Ezra Klein (which is excellent, by the way):

Is interiority a new word? The squiggly red line beneath it suggests that it might be. A quick search informs me, whether new or not, that interiority exists both as a concept and practice in literary circles. Literary agent, Mary Kole defines it “as a character’s thoughts, feelings, reactions, and inner struggles, and how we access them, whether it’s in first person or third, a picture book or a YA novel.” She further counsels would-be authors:

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I keep trying to start the same essay. And I kinda hate it. Not the essay, but the trying which Ross Gay tells me is the origin of the word, from the French , to try. But it’s maybe not even the trying so much as the to try. Again and again and again. I’m annoyed, restless and irritable. Why? Because it’s history. Again. Fricking history banging on my door again, yelling “You awake? You up yet?”

I hate this.

In the next-to-last essay in my book, (2019), I tried to make peace with…

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In light of recent events, I did what many digital citizens would do: I wrote a thread on Twitter.

There are lots of pieces to this and I doubt that I can bring them together again more concisely than in this thread but there are a couple of points I would like to add. Including a related tweet:

A dear friend sent me a recent article in that expresses some of my concerns about the distinct ways in which women are impacted by the pandemic. As a title, “The Coronavirus…

It’s a very recent trend in my reading life that I move through some books with pencil or pen in hand. For a long time, it felt taboo to mark up a book with my own notes and underscoring. Of the many books on my shelves, only very few have marks in them. Instead there may be a few dog ears in the pages or natural breaks in the spine which reveal where I’ve returned to a particular passage often. …

I have written before that I believe you can write your way out of ignorance. That constitutes both a hope and an excuse. Because I keep. on. writing. I am compelled and I respond. It’s 3am, it’s 5am, it’s 10pm, it’s midnight. There’s the screen, the blinking cursor, that damn insistence that even if I don’t know exactly which words I will need, tossing them up on a screen will provide at least a temporary relief.

Of course, the need to write bubbles up as a way to make sense; a way to understand what I’m reading. I want to…

Miraculously, I have been given the gift of time. A few days to myself which I have used in large part to read, think, exercise, write and sleep. Not gonna lie, the experience has been luxurious in every sense of the word. For the first time in a very long while I got to read in a very short span. One of those books is a collection of essays by advice columnist and former TV critic, Heather Havrilesky:

As usual, my writing space is beginning to shrink between growing stacks of books on either side of my laptop. Distinct about this particular set of books is that each author tells a form of historical truth about social and economic stratification in a country that claims to uphold the freedom and general welfare of its citizens. In a year I have determined to invest specifically in learning more history, these books offer me entry points that pierce and deflate the mythological American History I grew up with in school.

Professor Carol Anderson’s shook me the first time…

It happens with surprising regularity that an essay crosses my path and boom! I am smitten. I want to drop everything and call up all my friends who read, stop the world and take time for all these carefully crafted thoughts. Usually the best I can do, however, is repeat my awe several times via Twitter and hope for the best. But that doesn’t account for the many ways specific essays continue to work on and in me after I have dared to close the tab.

We live in a time of accelerated transitoriness. We cannot, dare not, dwell upon…

Sherri Spelic

Leadership Coach, Educator, Workshop presenter & facilitator, avid reader & writer @ home on the edge of the alps. Publisher of "Identity, Education and Power"

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