Monday, July 29, 2013

Just Write

As I sat down to begin writing today, I realized I had no clue what I was actually going to write about. I walked away from it several times. I debated skipping today. I looked at things for inspiration, but still nothing. That's when I remembered my children's literature teacher. She used children's picture books to teach different lessons about writing. Her first rule was, "destroy the power of the white." At first that is a very shocking statement, and made most of us in the class worry. However, it was quoted from a book about a young boy who wouldn't start painting because he didn't know exactly what he wanted to paint. I wish I could remember the name of the book, but it really is escaping me. The boy went to a famous artist and he threw paint on the child's canvas. At first the child was devastated, but then the man told him he needed to destroy the power of the white and get started. He explained that staring at a blank canvas is much more intimidating than looking at one that already has something on it. Our teacher explained that she used this lesson with her middle school students daily. Everyday in class they had to write something, anything! If they couldn't think of something on topic they could write something random, then when they came up with an idea they would skip a couple lines and start on topic. At first I really didn't understand the importance of this. I didn't see how it could make a difference. However, after trying it several times when I was struggling to get started I found that it really does work. If you just start writing you will come up with something to write about. Many times I have been shocked by where this activity has led me in my writing, but never have I walked away disappointed. Even if I don't write something great I am not frustrated with myself for not writing at all.

I have also learned to not erase or delete what I have already done. Even if I switch to a different topic, I don't delete the topic I started on. It might not be what I write about that day, but often it is an idea I can come back to at a later date. So starting a new page has been much more helpful to me, than erasing and starting over.

For me, writing everyday is also imperative. It is just like anything else, once you have established a routine it is easier to stick with it. If I write everyday I continue to write everyday. Skipping even a day or two makes it easier for me to skip even more days. With writing everyday it becomes a routine, part of my day and something I count on. Sometimes I write things I don't like. Sometimes I write things that others won't see.  However the lesson that has taught me is... I might not write something great everyday, but I do write everyday and that in and of itself is great.

Thanks for checking out today's blog. Leave me a comment and let me know what you do to move past your writer's block.

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