30-Day Writer's Boot Camp, Writing

Day 5: Always Ready

Rachel talks about finding moments in the day to write, even if it’s one sentence, a character’s name, or the first item on a list. After all, this is Writer’s Boot Camp, so writing should always be at the center of attention. And it has been lately, but I didn’t think about keeping a notebook with me to write down my thoughts whenever they struck me. So silly to not think of this when I teach high school English where fodder is everywhere. I am to keep pen and paper with me at all times. Check.

Assignment: Detox

She asks a few questions about my life:

  • Are there a lot of annoying things happening in your life?
  • Are you frustrated about the writing process or something else?

Now I am supposed to write about it.

I am frustrated that I feel as if I come up with some good ideas for writing, but I can’t seem to get it detailed on paper or computer. On Tuesday, we got out of school a little early so I went home and I wrote for two hours. Seems awesome. It was, but I started three pieces of writing because I got to a point in each where I hit a wall and I wasn’t sure where to take the story. It was great to get the ideas out of my head and on to the computer screen, but it was beyond frustrating to see that I struggled to develop all three. I also looked at a piece I did two years ago for the start of this camp (I didn’t cry when she died) and tried to add to that one with little success.

How can I be a writer when the ideas don’t flow? How do I practice writing when I can’t seem to develop ideas? It is one thing to hit this problem sometimes, but I feel as if I hit it every time I start writing. Right now, I have no problem completing this assignment. It seems I have plenty to say on the topic of writer’s block. But how can I be a writer when I struggle to add detail to anything I write?

How’s it going for you? Do you feel as if you struggle with writer’s blockĀ all the time?


I Don’t Want to Be a Hypocrite

I love to write, but I am one of those people who are frozen, waiting for the ideas to come. I know there are stories trapped in this brain of mine; it’s just a matter of breaking them out. What feels like a paralyzing inability to come up with a good idea has kept me from writing for years. Because of this, I have felt like such a hypocrite because I teach high school English where we read amazing literature and constantly write.

Up until a few years ago, I never tried writing poetry. I thought my paralyzing thoughts of failure would be best be expressed in a poem. I don’t feel that I’m a great poet, but everything I do write is extremely heartfelt. I hope you enjoy this one. It’s short and not so sweet.


My hands hover over the keyboard.

The ideas just don’t come to me.

This should be so easy.

I teach English for Pete’s sake!

I’m such a hypocrite.

Pressure builds in my chest

The screen is still empty.

This should be so easy

Because I teach English for Pete’s sake!

I’m such a hypocrite.

Just one idea.

I just want one idea.

This needs to be easy

Because I teach English,

And I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

My hands hover over the keyboard.

Still the ideas don’t come to me.

I know this should be so easy for me

Because I teach English.

My students will think I’m a hypocrite.