In the Ear Feedback

“Everybody has a voice. It’s just how you choose to use it.” Darin Johnston, TWT FB Live

It was my turn. I had listened and watched excitedly as Terje, Lisa, Sarah, Fran, Darin, Amanda, Donnetta (and of course Stacey and Betsy) speak so eloquently, proudly about slicing and the Two Writing Teachers community.

I listened in awe. I was hearing the voices of people that I had come to admire and “know” through their writing. I filled pages of my journal with their words. I wanted to remember. I wanted to be able to echo their thoughts and comments when my turn came.

There were tech glitches along the way. Stacey and Fran and Lisa handled them with ease. I added poise to my list of their admirable traits. Then my turn came. I was ready. Excited to celebrate the community of Two Writing Teachers and share how I’ve grown and encourage others join in!

Stacey introduced me and when I went to speak – it was sensory overload! My voice and Stacey’s voices echoed and overlapped and I couldn’t think!?! The sound was coming in one ear and then the other ear but delayed. I changed rooms hoping that would do the trick. I tried to adjust. No luck. I tried to focus and kept talking. I was flustered and then after it was over, I was frustrated. I was disappointed – disappointed that I had lost an opportunity to celebrate teacher as researcher, teacher as writer.

But as I sit to slice, I realize, the opportunity is not lost, just relocated from Facebook Live to Tuesday Slice of Life. So here is what this community has given and taught me –

  • To be brave in going public. The TWT teachers became a place for me to go public with my words and my sketches. My audience had always been people who knew me, my teacher research group (s), my school. My audience grew, expanded, thanks to TWT.
  • To read with feedback in mind. I have learned the value of not only listening to others writing but reading others writing and giving feedback. Thoughtfully reading and writing back to another.
  • To embrace feedback. I have learned the power of feedback from others. I think every participant in the FB Live experience lauded the feedback. For some, including me, it is what fuels us to not only write, but to keep living like a writer.
  • To be open to inspiration. Inspiration comes in every Tuesday (every day in the month of March!). It comes in the form of story, poem, pictures, sketches. It comes from people near and far.
  • Connect. The connections that are made as a result reading and sharing are real. The stories we share help us know each other and respect our differences and our similarities.
  • Hold on to beliefs and live them. This community reminds me every day of my belief that there is no right and wrong when it comes to writing and living like a writer for children is priceless.

Thank you to every member of the TWT community for maintaining and contributing a space for me to continue to live and grow.

PS Turns it wasn’t me but my air pods — they needed a reset by the almost invisible button on the back — who knew??!!

12 thoughts on “In the Ear Feedback”

  1. I thought your piece of the twt live was great. There were glitches, but your message was loud and clear. Your celebration of Slicing was there. I’m glad it’s also here too. You captured the beauty of this community and the experience of writing together.


  2. I had no idea you were going to be on the FB presentation! How cool! I meant to watch. Now I wish I had. We are all so used to tech glitches. I bet it didn’t get in the way of your message at all. Your message is so clear, so strong, so bright! I’m glad you sliced about this so that I could hear your presentation.


  3. OH, the woes of tech -!! in a word: Maddening! I can assure you that “poise” was not at all what I felt as I fought to connect! I am so glad you wrote this slice, Dawn. This beautiful list on inspiration, power of feedback, connections and beliefs – that is exactly why we’re all here and in this together. I was happy to see you on the meet and to hear your voice; I always associate you with artistry and craft. I think that prevailed in your “productive struggle” with [hateful] technology and flourishes here in your slice as well. Living like a writer IS priceless – for the children and all of us here. So well-said – I am grateful for all of your words, spoken and written.


  4. I would add poise to the list of descriptors for you, as well! You handled the situation and COMPLETELY figured out some work arounds so that your thoughts were heard! Thank you for sharing on Sunday and for the reflection piece to go along with it. I love them both!


  5. I wasn’t able to join on Sunday and forgot to go back to watch until this morning. Thank you for capturing these thoughts.
    Your words: “Inspiration comes in every Tuesday (every day in the month of March!). It comes in the form of story, poem, pictures, sketches. It comes from people near and far.” I am constantly amazed at how I can be inspired by everyone in this space – enabling me to write every day for March! Thank you for your continued inspiration to me.


  6. I was so happy to finally hear you and in a way “meet” you. The point you make to be open to inspiration is quite true. Sometimes the smallest & most unexpected thing will inspire us. And I didn’t know air pods had a little reset button either.


  7. I’ve never thought of blogging as brave. I think that’s because of m experiences in speech and debate and the occasional humiliation of being awful. I love your thoughts on feedback. Certainly, blogging makes me more a tune to inspiration. I have moments when I read a post and think “I wish I’d thought of that.” I love having made connections through Tuesday blogging, and I’ve become friends w/ several people; however, rather than a cohesive community the metaphor I’d use is a collection of subdivisions divided by concrete walls.


  8. To be brave in going public is such great advice. I am scarred from a not-so-warm reaction to a memoir piece I shared when I took a class at Northwestern about 27 years ago. Yes. That long. My husband is a playwright and has dealt with rejection on a whole different level, but the good outweighs the bad. This seems like a very supportive forum. (I’m a newbie.)


  9. Dawn, I love this post! You have written about many of the things I think about when I am writing for the SOLSC. Writing with feedback in mind has shaped me as a writer. And the bravery to take my writing public has been the greatest gift of this challenge!

    Your tech glitches on Sunday – we are all so used to it by now, right? It made me nervous too, but it wouldn’t have seemed right if there hadn’t been a few hiccups!


    1. So, true! The “issues” are what made it real. I have yet to watch it back, which I need to do. I want to rehear all that everyone said and even hear what I actually said because I heard nothing except feedback! You all are inspirational on the page and LIVE!


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