“The obstacle standing in the way of fingers tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard”
The email below from Brave Writer mom, Cathy, was in response to a Daily Writing Tip. Here’s an excerpt:
When a child hits writer’s block with a current piece of writing, sometimes it helps to go back and reread a success! Pull it out from the homeschool tomb (aka, the homeschool notebook collecting dust in your basement cabinet) and read it to your child with enthusiasm and feeling.
Hearing polished words that came from inside can be a catalyst for more words to emerge, or for a style to be found that had been lost. Your child can even “borrow” old work into the new piece. We call that “repurposing content” in the publishing biz. Nothing wrong with that!
I’m always so grateful for your continued support which allows us to encourage and mentor good and thoughtful writing. You’ve taught me a lot over the years. I’d like to share my continued challenges and successes with writing in our family:
The weekend had almost come to its conclusion when I heard the words, “Mom, I have to prepare a one page short story by tomorrow for my English class.” There is never a dull moment in our family of eight, but trying to stir up energy at the end of the day, let alone a weekend is often an uphill battle.
It very quickly became evident that Louie’s attitude toward this assignment was the obstacle standing in the way of fingers tap, tap, tapping on the keyboard. Super homeschool mom to the rescue! I’ve got lots of ideas up my sleeve thanks to Julie and the Bravewriter philosophy.
“Louie, you’ve got lots of writing from when you were homeschooled, why not look at some of those to help spark an idea for your writing?” says a confident mom.
Abruptly, Louie retorts, “THERE ISN’T ANYTHING I CAN USE IN MY WRITING, I’M AWFUL AT ENGLISH!”
Tired homeschool mom snaps right back, “IF YOU AREN’T GOING TO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE, YOUR WON’T BE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENT.”
Like an alchemist exploring chemical reactions, Louie and I had our very own explosion at the computer desk. Space and time from one another was necessary.
Level-headed homeschooled sister eventually cajoles Louie back to the computer where she begins to type and collaborate with Louie on short story ideas. Laughter, banter and poking fun of one another is all that could be heard. The right attitude had been harnessed.
For the remainder of the evening, each worked side by side, mostly Louie providing the ideas and words, to complete a wonderful short story. It brought me back to the days when Sarah and Louie shared their days together as homeschool sisters.
Julie you have once again reminded me of the many important steps necessary to affect a small shift in our children’s attitude toward writing. Although I did suggest to Louie to look back at her previous work, I didn’t offer to read it which is so important for the moment when our kids are struggling. She was struggling with her confidence and me reading her work may have infused and reminded Louie that she is a good writer.
Keep the tips coming.
Image © David Hughes | Dreamstime.com