Slice of Life / 27 Just write

download.jpgPulled from one of my early blog posts – a writing day with four grade students who had not done much writing

“I was sure today would be the day I would get – “I have nothing more to say!”

But I was SO wrong – I sent them off to their desks prepared with the line – “just put your pencil down and write.  Just keep writing.” They did just that. They all left the circle pulled out their journals and began. They wrote for about 20 minutes.  The room was quiet and all pencils were moving. I just stood there and watched! Amazed that they were so engaged in writing. They had all pulled their feet out of the swamp and were swimming through words with ease and grace.

After a few minutes of watching I thought what should I do?

Oh yeah – get out my journal and write! ”

I was stuck today –  I did not know what to write so I took a minute to scroll through my past blog posts. It is an amazing thing to do if you have been blogging for awhile. This quote from above was written on March 6th, 2012. This was a time I was teaching in an inner city school. The students were hard to get focused and had not had much writing experience in previous years yet when given a chance to open write and to write often they ran with it.

I am also pretty sure if I took the time I could find at least one post each March that talks about the more I write the more ideas I have. Also the easier it is to write.

Write breeds writing! It is true for young students and it is true for adult. It is really true for most things – the more you do something the easier it is. We all know the old phrase practice makes perfect. We may never be perfect in writing but we do become writers. The words can flow more easily, ideas can pop up when we least expect them and the act of writing becomes fun. At least for most of us.

This is not to say that there are not days when we sit and wonder what to write or are stuck in a story that seems to have no middle or lacking an ending but it does get easier. It becomes easier for students as they are given the freedom to find a topic of interest and chance to find their voice. (Lanny talked about that today.)

So now in 2019 – with no classroom in front of me but my own writing staring at me I am following my own advise –

Just put your pencil down and write!

( well, or put your fingers to the keys and type!)


We have 4 more days – we can rock this challenge!!!




About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to Slice of Life / 27 Just write

  1. Ramona says:

    I love these words you used to describe your reluctant writers: “They had all pulled their feet out of the swamp and were swimming through words with ease and grace.” When this happens, it’s time for a celebration!

  2. arjeha says:

    Great advice for the students and great advice for us as well. We have come this far, yes, we can do this.

  3. Thank you for the motivation at the end! I needed that! I have enjoyed this, but it feels like a marathon, especially for this first time blogger. Especially when the comments get sparse, the encouragement is truly appreciated:)

    • Joanne Toft says:

      It is a lot of writing but it is good to push ourselves. I also try to think about writing for myself more that for others since the comments come and go. Thanks for you comments.

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