On Your Marks. . .

A few years ago, I engaged in a daily blog challenge that I called a "Quote-A-Day" exercise. Basically, I relied on a quote that I either saw, heard, or thought of to help me reflect on my experiences for that day.

The posts for this challenge were meant to help me become a more capable writer, and if we go by the theory of practice that many researchers have described, continuous repetition of a given practice in a given field or skill set should propel us forward in our ability to be successful in that work or initiative. My hope was that 365 days of continuous writing and reflection would help me to become a better writer, and a more capable and competent reflector of practice.

In my eyes, the challenge was a success. A year of daily writing and reflecting helped me to grow, both as a writer and a professional. I also grew as a person, feeling more confident of my writing and my ability to "find time" to think before taking action. While I can't be sure, I would also like to think that my Quote-A-Day experience helped me write my first book on Professional Development for ASCD, a book called Professional Development That Sticks (I talk more about this in the "My Writing" section of this site).

A few weeks back, a conversation on Twitter about daily blogging led to a group of committed educators banding together to look to engage in a daily blogging challenge for this year. Called #Blog365, this initiative is open to all, in any profession, who want a space to further their own writing and reflective skills. Want in? Reach out to me and I'll include you in our Voxer support group. Not on Voxer? Then we can stay in touch via Twitter or email! One piece I realized during my first daily blogging experience was the importance of a support group, particularly in that "J-curve" phase when "the extra work" seems like an imposition, and a difficulty that might be insurmountable. Having a support group of other bloggers engaging in the same daily exercise is a great way to share struggles and successes, and to know that you're involved in an initiative that while focused on "you," is truly focused on many "you's."

This initiative begins on September 1, and I'm excited to see where it takes me this time around. Regardless, I know that I'll become a more confident writer, and a more reflective person, simply through engaging in this great experience. Won't you join me?