Twenty minutes of non-stop writing. Should I do this in English? Of toch in het Nederlands? To be honest, I am already cheating on this Writing 101 assignment. It should be 20 minutes of free writing, without thinking about what you write. Just writing. Right.
I got the assignment in my inbox this afternoon and spent the rest of the day brainstorming what I should write about. How could I connect this assigment with the topics I usually blog about? Maybe I can do something with the fixed mindset of my gifted learner that is my 10-year old son. Or maybe with my own mind that already finishes 80% of the projects I dream about in my head. No need for starting them, is there?
Anyway. I am now thinking about the tone-of-voice of my writing. Am I being witty enough? Not too sarcastic? I hope it is a typical characteristic of many of my female peers. The perfectionism, the insecurity, the aim-to-pleasing.
My gifted learning son copes really well with a blank sheet of paper. For a long time, he will be quiet and the paper remains white. I know what is happening: he is drawing in his head. Finally, just as I want to ask him what he’s going to write, he put his pencil to paper. No sketching. Definite strokes, as if he’s tracing an invisible coloring picture.
However, a white sheet of paper often remains a mostly white piece of paper. Not too long ago, he had to write an essay on a topic of his own choice. Being totally fanatic about Spartans, he evidently chose Sparta. It didn’t take long for him to lose his interest: breaking up the topic into chapters, typing down what he knew, checking spelling and adding references, it was all just too boring.
Why would he write down what he already knew, just to proof what he knew? So he handed in a lean paper, only getting a B because is teacher was aware of his challenges. Writer’s block is not always a consequence of bottled up creativity. Lack of motivation can be another reason why your paper stays white.
And is that a bad thing? Should discipline rule over motivation, just because your content calendar says so? Because your teachers expect it? Inside my head, the jury is still out.
2 thoughts on “Unlock the mind – f*ck writer’s block”
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My son struggles with writing in school. He will sit and stare blankly at his notebook when given an assignment and not write a word, garnering the ire of his teacher. But if she asks him to verbalize his thoughts he can do so easily and without hesitation. Who is to say which method is better than the other as long as the material is provided in the end?
Excellent job on this first assignment. I look forward to hearing more about your family. http://lilypupslife.wordpress.com/