Today is my 6th slice for the March Slice of Life Challenge on Two Writing Teachers.
It’s too early for this. It’s only the SIXTH day of this challenge. It’s not writer’s block. It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about…it’s that I don’t like anything I’m writing. I’ve started and stopped three posts before this one. (Just so you know, I’m publishing this one…even if it STINKS!)
Today, nothing sounds right. I’m not pleased with anything I have to say…but I’m showing up. I’m here. That’s something I need to do. Today is snow day number twelve. I’m hunkered down with my dog snuggled in blankets and shoveling out from all of the snow… dreaming of the beach. Yesterday when I was shoveling, I was blasting beach music…Jimmy Buffet.
I’ve discovered that a break in routine once in awhile is terrific! It’s new and fun and exciting! Too many breaks and I struggle with that. I stress and find it difficult to relax. So on snow day number twelve (and we don’t have to make these up, we have FIFTEEN built into our schedule) I will find ways to celebrate my un-routine today!
YAY! I wrote. It’s not pretty. It’s not earth shattering or brilliant. It’s here. I’m here. Show up…it’s worth it!
Blogging three times a week can be hard ! Thinking of topics can be the toughest thing about this! One of my students in block seven wrote a blog post to help you. You should visit his blog, Siddhant’s 6th Grade Life to see more ideas. Here’s a picture of some of his ideas…
“I don’t know what to write.” Those seem to be the only words floating in my head right now. No matter how hard I try, all I can think is, “I don’t know what to write.”
It strikes me as an important struggle that I need to remember. Posting my slice on the Two Writing Teachers is a blogging highlight of my week, so I rarely miss it. Tuesday is my deadline. Sometimes I write the post before Tuesday morning, but often I wake up and write it right away.
Today…nothing. I feel angry and frustrated, helpless and dumb. I want to force something and nothing is coming. ARRGGHH!
Why am I staying here in this place and writing about it? Because of my students. I can’t tell you how many times I hear these same words from them. And it makes me wonder…do I give them enough time & space to create? Do I really listen to what they’re saying? Do I treat them like they are trying to get out of doing work? There have been moments when I have been guilty of being impatient and insisting they begin writing. Sigh…that certainly wouldn’t help me right now.
I’m writing. That’s good. I’m working something out, but I’m not writing about what I should be writing. That feels wrong. It feels bad…like I’m failing. In the logical part of my brain, I know that writing, any kind of writing, is better than not writing. Is this how my students feel when they struggle with a writing assignment? How can I help them? I need to find a better way to handle this with my students.
What do I need?
More encouraging. More space. Forgiveness…or maybe acceptance. More time. And the courage or guidance to return to my writing. These are the things I need to give to my students and share with them and model for them. Writing is hard, but I won’t quit…and neither should they.
THIS moment will make me a better teacher of writers. This is why we, as teachers, need to live the life of a writer and a reader when we are crafting writers and readers in our classrooms. I understand better. I get it. I can tell them the story of this morning when I had nothing to write and I wrote anyway…not the thing I wanted to write, but I wrote. I leave you with the wise words of Ray Bradbury…
As writers, this happens to all of us…we sit down to write and nothing. Our brain empties and there’s nothing there. What do you do? How do you think of ideas? I write anyway. It’s about sitting down and doing the work for me. A writer friend of mine, Patti Digh, says she doesn’t believe in writer’s block…there’s no such thing as plumber’s block….they just get to work. As writers, we must do the same. What will write this year? Let’s make a plan…
My writing plan for the year…
I will blog three times a week, minimum.
I will work on my poetry.
I will continue the draft of my novel.
What will you write?!?!