I Don’t Know What to Write About

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See Other Slice at Two Writing Teachers

Saturday morning.  
Time to slice.
I don’t know what to write about, I tell my husband.

But what I really mean is:
I don’t want to put the effort in right now.
There are other things I’d rather be doing.
I have an idea, but I’m struggling with the words.
I wrote a draft about Maddie and her pretend play and I don’t like it.
I’m scared to write what I really want to write because it’s personal and it hurts.
I’m afraid what I write today won’t be very good compared to others.
People are probably sick of hearing about my kids.
I’d rather read a book.
I feel rushed.
I’m still thinking about that piece I published last week.  
I should probably wait and post something later tonight.
I need some quiet to think.

So, here it is – this silly post that is quite meaningless and not at all what I’m capable of and I sure hope you’re not going to grade it.

Next time I hear “I don’t know what to write about” from a student, I will remember this morning, this post.  And I will respond more thoughtfully.  

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15 thoughts on “I Don’t Know What to Write About

  1. Dana! I feel the exact same way! Completely uninspired. I need more time to put something meaningful together. It’s hard to come up with something new every single day. I like this slice. It’s real. It’s about a writer.

  2. This thinking is one of the reasons I felt better at teaching kids to write after taking the Slice Challenge last year…I experienced not knowing more last year and when I did the Teacher’s Write summer camp.

    I get it now when kids say, “I don’t know what to write about!” I know because I’ve been there. I have worn those shoes and they are uncomfortable-so we make adjustments to change the comfort level…and before we know it, we’ve got something to write about. It may not be perfect but writing never is-published work is re-drafted work-we’re revising and we don’t realize it.

    I appreciate your honesty.

  3. I don’t think this post is meaningless at all. The words and feeling of “I don’t know what to write” can mean so many different things. You capture the range of frustration that a writer can feel, especially our student writers. I agree that taking part in this challenge will help me to be a better writing teacher.

  4. This is a great reminder to those of us that teach writing. You captured the same things that go through my mind almost daily when I try to think of my next slice. The emotions here remind us all that sharing our writing makes us all really vulnerable and sometimes that makes us really nervous. I will be remembering your post the next time a student tells me they don’t know what to write about.

  5. We have all been there! And it wasn’t until I had to start writing consistently that I really started taking the “I don’t have anything to write about” type statements a little more seriously.

  6. Dana, I have been there more than once! You are such a writer. All the things you write about, the thoughts that grapple your mind, the honesty. An artist, a writer, a person that has any gift/craft, it doesn’t come to them everyday…and that’s ok. That’s honest, that’s real. Great slice!

  7. I’m glad I took pictures of the snow at my house last night, or I’d be in the same boat. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, a lot! I’m trying today to visit some new blogs & I noticed you’re a lit coach-so am I. It will be fun to see how many are here, writing. I’m going to click on the ‘coaching’ tag now! Have a great day!

  8. And that’s what being a teacher of writing is all about. Your (future) students will be better off because you’ll have gone through this too. Yea for the writer’s struggle. You found a way out and will use it as a teachable moment.

  9. Well, you did an awesome job expressing how I feel….lol…..I enjoyed reading this. Regardless of content, you were sharing a little slice of your thoughts, feelings, and yourself….isn’t that what slicing is all about???? 🙂

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