I am inspired to write by four people that probably don't even know they inspire me: Kate Messner, Jeff Anderson, Colby Sharp, and my wife, Laura. Kate is a fantastic author and is passionate about encouraging teachers to write. She co-leads a summer professional development opportunity for teachers called Teachers Write! I love her advice to writers: write! Jeff Anderson has always been one of my favorite writing mentors. I have used his books in my classroom for years. However, it was an interaction with him at MRA that inspired me to start writing. During a session at the Michigan Reading Association Conference, he had all the participants writing. I volunteered to share my writing during the session. After the session, Jeff approached me and said, "You have to start writing. If you don't, I am going to steal some of your lines." He probably has no idea how that brief interaction gave me the final boost of confidence I needed to finally start blogging. Colby Sharp is one of the people that inspires me the most. He is absolutely fearless. From Nerdy Book Club, to Nerd Camp, to the Yarn, Colby follows his passions and isn't afraid to try new things. Colby said something during a conference that has stuck with me: ‘Tell your story. If you don't, who will.’ Thank you, Colby. This blog is me telling my story. Finally, I would never have the courage to start blogging if it wasn't for my wife. She is my constant source of encouragement and inspiration. She won't let me take the easy way out of anything. Every time I try to make an excuse for why I shouldn't start writing, she challenges me to quit making excuses. I love you for seeing a better me than I see in the mirror.
350 days since I decided to start blogging at Nerd Camp, I am about to post my first blog. I look forward to sharing my life as an elementary principal with the world (or maybe only myself). Who knows, but writers write as Esme Raji Codell reminds us in Sahara Special, and I am a writer.