Friday, March 18, 2016

Feeling Inspired?

I am enjoying the month long writing challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.  Today is day 18!  Wow!  More than half-way through the month!

Feeling Inspired?
Yesterday’s post was literally written on the move.  I was driving to a meeting across town thinking about my strange rainbow picture idea when all of a sudden the words came together to form a quick little poem - including a whimsical ending.  I parked my car, pulled out a piece of paper and quickly wrote down the inspired work before the idea went out of this 57 year old brain.  
It got me thinking about being inspired to write. 

Where do these inspirations come from?
As I thought about my posts, I realized my inspirations for this week were from my daughter who talked about people getting tired of seeing her pictures of the lake, a comment left on my post, a picture of a strange rainbow and a family crisis. No real pattern, some life experiences others just came to me.
Then I reflected on when I got inspired this week. 
I don't always get inspired in my car. I also get ideas when talking to friends, while reading a book, and sometimes in bed - at 2am.  Thinking this way made me realize that many of my ideas for these slices did not come about when I consciously sit down to write, rather the words flow at random times and during unexpected moments. There is no pattern to this writing madness!

I started to think about my students.  Where and when do they get inspired?  Do I give them time and space to write down those ideas at random times?  Do I offer writing workshop at various times of the day to allow for morning or afternoon writers? And when doing on demand samples, do I give them a chance to chat before hand or at least give them some time to percolate an idea?  

Inspirations, I have learned, strike at the oddest times and often not when planned.  I think I need to be more mindful of this thought when working with my students who are in a slump.


  1. So, so true! Writing just like our lives is not always planned, it just happens sometimes . . .like our inspirations! I find I do much better when I'm not "looking" for the words. Great slice!

  2. I never come up with a topic in front of a computer -- I write all the time. I capture random thoughts with voice notes and on stickies on my laptop. I always tell kids who are in a slump to go for a walk. I have also a "you can write about that board" for kids to post ideas as they happen in the classroom -- any time! I think we need to share our process with kids so they know this is how writing happens.

  3. It can be hard to find inspiration, and then, POW!, a slice pops in our brains. Great reflecting about your students - they are lucky to have a teacher who recognizes their struggles.

  4. I know I should always have a notebook with me to capture my brilliant ideas and inspirations, but I've never succeeded. sticky notes work well most of the time, but I need to get a notebook to keep them in.

  5. I absolutely agree! My "dump journal" is filled with inspirations and ramblings that only I can understand. They eventually turn into my slice of life. I can rarely write on demand. Thank you for the subtle reminder.