I am a writer. I am not a published author, but I see myself as a person with an opinion, something smart to say, someone with ideas to express. I do that is many venues, and one of them includes following along in each writing cycle that I ask my students to go through.
Usually this is a relatively easy task. I’ve been writing for myself for years now, and have TONS of ideas to choose from in my many Writer’s Notebooks. And as long as the genre is something non-fiction, I’m ok. And then this time every year a fiction cycle rolls around and I start to get nervous. For whatever reason, writing a story is just not something that comes easily to me. It seems that every story I do end up writing has something to do with Santa Claus or Christmas. Other than that, I got nothing.
So when we got to Thursday–drafting day–I should have been ready to sit down with my students and use my own seed idea and nurturing notes to draft, I had a little confession to make instead.
“THIS IS HARD!” I started. I had to admit to them that I was not ready to draft. I had to tell them that, in fact, I didn’t even have a start of an idea. I had NOTHING! Ok, not nothing–I did have 7 years of Writer’s Notebook filled with ideas, but nothing that spoke to me and said, “Hey, Mrs. Bearden–write a story about this!” or that could easily fit into a Santa or Christmas story (that’s all I know how to write about, remember??).
So on drafting day, instead of drafting, my job was to figure out my idea. But I needed help. And I knew just the people to ask. 🙂
As my students worked on their own drafts, then, I went back to work digging through my notebooks to find anything that I was at least a little bit interested in. I wasn’t really even sure what I was looking for, but I did end up finding a couple of cute stories from my childhood. Then one about my little brother. And another about something funny my husband did when he was a kid. And so finally my wheels starting turning…
After a few minutes, I at least had a start:
What I came up with was an idea to incorporate many stories from my childhood (about me, my brother, my dad, my husband) into one, set in an old house I used to live in. The trouble was figuring out how to do that. All I had to do was just begin to mention all of this to my students and within about 10 seconds I had at least 10 possibilities–one that even had a link to Christmas! Love it.
And do now my hard work continues as I try this weekend to come up with my draft. And believe me, it’ll have to happen, regardless of how impossible it feels to me now. They’re counting on me. I ask them to do it, so I should be able to do it, too, right? I’ll let you know the answer to that when I figure it out. Hopefully before Monday. 🙂
What’s your favorite genre to write? Is there one that’s easier or harder for you? Tell us about it!