Make Writing Less Painful
Writer’s block means the child doesn’t have access to the words inside. When words are hidden behind anxiety, fear of failure, or a vague sense of the topic, give oodles of empathy and hugs, offer a snack, and talk about how to make writing less painful. Remind yourself of the goal – a free, brave writer who is at ease when writing.
Don’t do it!
Don’t yell at your child to write or to just get three sentences on the page.
We’ve all done it (even me). Sometimes it’s exasperating to watch your child simply not put the pencil to the page. You think to yourself: If this kid would just scrawl a few words onto the page so you could MOVE ON with the day…! Grrrr. And so, you lose your cool on your child. Sigh. It happens.
When the Writing Won’t Come
When a child experiences “writer’s block,” it means there’s something in the way. At that point, the lesson shifts. Your task now is to understand what’s in the way, to provide support and a context that might ease the pressure to allow the words to bubble up.
Remember: even writing “I’m stuck, I’m stuck, I’m stuck” counts! That’s the transcription of the ticker tape in the mind. Start there: notice it and write it.
Sharing a story of your own experience of writing blocks helps too. When I was seventeen, I was in a competition for an award that required writing an essay under timed pressure. I froze for 50 whole minutes. Nothing came! The more I panicked, the fewer words I had available to write. Finally the bell rang and I was released from my misery. I lost the competition and learned a big lesson: pressure to write makes writing more challenging.
I’ve shared that story with my kids. Dig up the time when writing was hard for you. Talk about it over cookies. Give permission to not write today, or to write poorly—to in fact welcome their truth.
Today may not be a good writing day. Another day may present differently once you make room for the hard days too.
This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!