Today is a day of being stuck!   I took care of tasks earlier today – check email,  check on the deck to see if it is still in the sun ( can’t seal it yet),  laundry, photo of the day to the neighborhood blog, clean out the car from the trip to my Mothers, check Facebook,  check e-mail …  You get it I am everywhere but sitting with my computer writing.  I have carried a notebook with me all day but no pen or pencil.  I am participating in the great   “I will get around to it”     Avoidance for a writer to so easy to come by.

I finally have settled down to reading the posts of other Slicers and found Worthless Words by Donna Smith  (   She was also wondering about writing today but set she herself down and  began writing.   What a great example of the wonderful writers phrase “just write”.

It is always a wonder to me when I sit down to write and words are there.  We borrow, we steal, we rearrange our experiences to help us see the world from new perpectives.  Writing is a wonder to me.

The other influence today that has me writing is the little book call Steal Like An Artist by Kleon.  He also speaks of  bring ideas together.   His words are ” you are a mashup of what you choose to let into your life.  You are the sum of your influences.”   It is this mashup that helps us find new things to think about and to say.   We restate and revise and redo all the time.

My wondering is

  • do I give room from my students to wonder around until they can find their words,
  •  do I  let them read and review to find motivation for their writing
  • do I help them see that writing is a “mashup” of ideas
  • do I give them room to be authentic writers ???

My goal for this year – help my students and my self be comfortable in an authentic writers process- to use the phrase ” just write” but remember we need the experiences of life, and reading to help us write.   We can not write in a vacuum and neither can our students.


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to Stuck…

  1. That’s a wonderful goal for you to have for your students!

  2. Oh, that whole idea of giving ourselves and our kiddos time to mull. This is something I have to remember. xo nanc

  3. Great point about needing experiences frm which to write…how will you model this for them? It worries me that my students will come without these experiences…how will you get them to recognize the value of their stories?

    • Joanne Toft says:

      Great question – I think modeling this might be showing the students some of the statements on this blog. Those of us who have said I don’t know what to write today.
      I also think I will share my writing about the topic and how I read other writers to gather ideas.
      Many or most of my students come with out these experiences. They come from homes where parents are not reading and writing even though they know how. I know I need to model everything.

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