In just a few months, I will be turning fifty. Yes, fifty.
That is a big number.
I have been aware for a long time of being thought old by people around me, first my students, and now even my colleagues. I could be the mother of most of the teachers I work with. But this is a new level of big number.
This year I have been doing a photography project, posting daily photos on Facebook in response to prompts. I started doing this because I had so enjoyed the Lent and Advent photo-a-day projects I had done in the past. It turns out that I really like having something like this to work on. (You can read more at that link about what my daily photo habit does for me.)
So, I was thinking I wanted to do some kind of a birthday project. I got the idea from people on Poetry Friday through the years; there are so many creative and fun people who set themselves writing-related challenges: genres they want to try, special months like NANOWRIMO and others, and, you guys, look at this amazing poetry postcard project that Laura Shovan did to celebrate her birthday back in 2012!
So I've decided that in the first seven months of this new school year, the seven months before my birthday, I will set myself the goal of writing fifty (50) first drafts. I imagine the vast majority of these will be short poems, but I would like at least five of them to be essays. At this point I don't know how many of these pieces I'll share on my blog, but I will definitely be posting here and on Facebook about my progress (hashtag QWP!). I'll also be sharing my goals and my progress with my students, and perhaps some of the results, as appropriate. And my long-suffering writing group will be reading much of what I'll be writing.
I'm hoping that, as I write about many of the things in my ideas file, my QWP will help me approach my birthday not as some sign of impending decrepitude, but as a celebration of the fifty years of material God has allowed me to amass.
7 hours ago