I have a list of projects but for some reason I can’t get started. I am hiding from writing. No real reason that I can think of – just not doing the work. It is a perfect day – cool and rainy can’t really be out doing other things. But writing is work, hard work and I just can’t get started.
So – get busy and write isn’t as easy as it sounds. “Just write – It is a perfect day.” Oh, how many times have I said that to a class of students. I would send them off with their notebooks and then wondered why they were looking at books, staring out the window and sleeping with their eyes open. They were doing what I am now doing.
Anytime I want I get quiet and sit still and I am little again… When I do this it isn’t now anymore , it is then again.
Using mentor texts to help our students and our selves begin writing is a perfect way to push us past that getting started phase. We can begin by
- reading an author we like (today it is Patricia Polacco)
- choose a few lines from their writing
From where I sit only a brave person could have done all those things – Thunder Cake )
- copy them into a notebook and
- continue the sentences on our own
We are writing without that blank page, the I don’t have any ideas phase is gone.
Patricia Polacco is a perfect writer for this type of kick start. She is writing personal narratives, short stories about her life as a child. She uses key phrases that repeat in her stories to help keep the story going. She has short positive messages that early writers and older writers can connect to. Patricia is a perfect spring board for writing.
Give her a try the next time you or your students are stuck- she has lots of books ( I count 55 on her web site). Following her on Facebook is another great way to kick off story writing. She is constantly posting images from past or present books. They are perfect for story starters.
Happy Rainy Day Writing!