let’s write 2019

Leigh Anne Eck made a call for a community of writers to make writing plans and celebrate together in 2019. She’s coined it #letswrite2019. You can go here to be an official part of the group.


These days I feel a like a rogue writer and am hesitant to create Official Plans. Mid-December I took a strengths assessment test and found my “High 5” results:

  4. COACH

I’m enjoying this perspective into my personality, but I’m still absorbing what all of these mean. For example, DELIVERER is defined as:

You objective is to take responsibility. If there is a person emotionally bound to follow through on all promises — then it’s you. Your strong ethical principles do not let you to simply write missteps off on excuses or rationalizations. It holds true no matter how small or large is the issue you are dealing with.

Perhaps this is why I’m hesitant to create Official Plans for my 2019 writing life. Yet, since I’m also a COACH:

Your objective is to develop people’s potential. Contrary to what others might think, you believe that every person has the potential for development.  You perceive it as a personal mission to help others utilize their potential and to experience success.

Perhaps this is why I find myself writing a #letswrite2019 blog post even though I’m hesitant to make Official Plans. 

The strengths assessment revealed OPTIMIST at the top of my list. It is summarized as:

Your objective is to bring positive spirit. If there is someone believing that the glass is half-full instead of half-empty — then it’s you. Whether it’s a work project or a daily situation, you always manage to find a way to make everything more exciting. You inject enthusiasm into people and that’s why they love to be around you. 

Perhaps this is why I find myself considering Official Plans. It’s compelling enough that I decide to look at the evidence of my writing life from 2018:

50 blog posts (30 here + 20 on The Lead Learners’ blog)
17 articles for Choice Literacy
4 drafts to find the structure of a new professional book
12,00 words on a new book proposal
100+ handwritten notes (a goal for 2018)
2 jumbo notebooks filled with daily journal pages about faith
2 professional writing notebooks filled
1 daily work life composition notebook filled
12 scrapbook pages (another goal for 2018)

45 weeks of meal plans + grocery lists
95 Instagram posts
37 pages of paperwork for Stephanie’s placements
1 Letter to the Editor of our local paper

There have been many laps around the sun since I started this space, Ruth Ayres Writes. I needed  a place where my writing life wasn’t contrived and artificial. I walked away from popularity and community in order to grow organically as a writer.

It has been humbling. I have struggled to find my footing as a writer. I’ve struggled to believe I’m part of the tribe. I’ve struggled with missing the confidence I once had in my identity as a blogger and teacher-writer. There were times when I wondered if I would ever rebound in popularity from my decision to choose my writer-self over the writing. After many moons, I fully accepted that my writing needed to be for an audience of One, rather than many, sometimes even shutting down comments to force myself to write for what I could give rather than the comments and shares I could get.

Organic growth needs time. Organic means “relating to or derived from living matter.” I wanted my writing life to be derived from living matter. I wanted to be authentic rather than rote in the topics I wrote. I wanted to spend my time looking at life twice and opening the door to whatever was knocking around my heart. I wanted to tug wisps that led to new understandings and realizations. For years I’ve been stacking stories with the purpose of giving others the gumption to shine.

It’s been a shrewd initiative backed by loads of spirit. Perhaps we could describe my journey of writer-discovery as earthy. It may look like I’ve been playing in the sandbox for too long. I think this is just part of being organic — of deriving  my writing life from living matter.

This fall Celebrate This Week sputtered and croaked, taking the last threads of connection I felt I had with the tribe of teacher-writers. Life was navigating choppy waters as Stephanie’s mom and a school board member in an unhappy community and a director in a new job.  Opening a blog post and maintaining a community fell overboard.

Pruning is essential to organic growth. After a pruning has occurred, things look a little meager and scarce, inadequate, even. Don’t be fooled: underneath there are strong roots.

My writer roots have never been more developed than they are at this moment. I suppose my Official Plans are quite simple:

To feed the writer who has finally emerged. She’s worth feeding.


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  1. Whether you are writing for one or for an audience, your words continue to feed.Thank you for connecting with my ripple into the writing lives of others. I can’t tell you how much it means to have your support. Hugs for a happy new year!