Day after day, my blog and writer’s notebook remain unattended.
I feel I have run out of things to say, ideas to explore.
Perhaps it’s the October blues – that time of year when the school year is fully underway, and there is so much to read, grade, plan for, and execute. My kids have settled in, they are comfortable, and we are hard at work. By the end of the day, I feel spent. All my creative energy has been used up in my classroom : read alouds, conferring, class discussions, and sixth grade issues. By the time I close the door and haul my bags of notebooks to be responded to and quizzes to be graded, I am DONE! What I look forward to the most is silence…I love my kiddos, but I am ready for a quiet cup of tea, perhaps a nap, and some time catching up with NPR. In the silence of my very still house, I slowly find my way back to my book bags, and the work ahead.
In my current state, writing has ceased to be the pleasure it usually is.
So, today, I came clean with my kids. We were logging on to our Writing Workshop Google Classroom, and preparing to attend to the final edits for our first to be published piece, when I arrived at this moment of truth. Some of my students were less than enthusiastic at the prospect of revising and fine tuning their pieces once again, and I could feel this in their slumped shoulders, the slow way in which they went about the business of logging on, consulting their folders, and getting to work. Catching my glance, one of them said, “Do YOU ever get sick of writing, Mrs. Smith?”
I could have said what he expected to hear, “Me? No never!”
I could have launched into a lecture about the importance of writing every day.
I could have…
Instead, I came clean. “I haven’t been able to write in over a week,” I said, “I feel as though I have nothing to say.”
So, we put aside our revisions and talked about writing, and how it is sometimes hard to get going, hard to find something new and interesting to say. We talked about how we are sometimes tired of our own writing voices, tired of the way we sound. And we talked about ways to find our path back to wanting to write.
We didn’t get as much done in writing workshop as we’d hoped to…but I’m holding to these words of reassurance from one of my kids:
“Even your writing brain needs a rest, Mrs. Smith. Give yourself a break!”