This morning as I reached for the box of green tea up in the cabinet, I grabbed my One-a-Day vitamins as well.  There’s no use trying to remember to take one in the afternoon on a full stomach.  I won’t remember.  If I’m going to take one, it has to become an automatic action for my sleepy morning body.  I can put it on the counter until I’ve consumed a piece of toast and take it with my tea.  Done.  I can check “take vitamin” off of my list.

Writing isn’t quite like that because I can’t do it sleepily, but I do want to begin to do it automatically.  I want my body to naturally turn towards the chair, the way the taste of tea or coffee sometimes motivates me to roll out of bed and put my feet on the floor.

So here I am today.  I’ve got one hour until lunch with the girls–a quiet hour in my office.  I’ve got a clear goal and a clear set of instructions.  I simply need to revise my EngEd draft to fit the Extending the Conversation guidelines, taking the reviewers’ comments into consideration.  They asked for “less description and more analysis.”  This tells me that all of my work in the “Findings” section that chronicles the responses of the rest of my class should be another paper.  I only have ten pages to work with, and most of that should be A) summarizing “the conversation” and B) extending this conversation with my own analysis and discussion.  The “data” from my one student case study is the text to be read closely and discussed.  This is where qualitative research and literary analysis share some common ground.


  • Reread drafts
  • Freewrite important elements of “the conversation” to summarize
  • Freewrite the unique contribution that I’m making to this conversation
Off I go…!