Several factors have thrown me off my nice, comfortable writing routine, including some extra part-time work and then a freak snowstorm that left us without power or Internet access for a week.

I stopped blogging because my routine had been disrupted. My morning writing time was no longer available, and that’s when my head was in “writing mode.”

I’m not sure if this is a matter of circadian rhythms, or a habit I trained my brain into, or some combination of both. All I know is that, give me a free morning and I will be overflowing with things I want to say in print…and then by 3PM, if I haven’t gotten those ideas recorded, they will have evaporated!

Instead, by day’s end I have lots of little tidbits of “interesting stuff” that don’t readily compose themselves into a coherent blog post.

Well, I’m going to have to figure out a way to keep blogging regularly, even though I can no longer count on those nice blocks of peaceful morning time, when my head was uncluttered and my focus was clear. (And I’m definitely thinking about my students and their writing struggles as I go to battle against my own).

I was teaching a student this piece of critical reading advice:

  • When you begin reading a passage, read the first two or three sentences, and then stop and make a prediction. What do you think the rest of the passage is going to be about? Try to be somewhat specific (Don’t just predict It’s about the Mona Lisa. Think, It’s about why the Mona Lisa is so famous, or It’s about the techniques DaVinci used in painting the Mona Lisa.)
  • Now read on, and find out how your prediction compares and contrasts to the content of the actual passage.
  • The point is NOT to predict accurately. It doesn’t matter if you were correct, or way off! The purpose of the prediction is to give your brain something to “chew on” as you read. It makes you read actively, because you’ve given your brain a purpose.
So, maybe some similar kind of structure will help me get writing again? It’s true that getting started is the hard part, facing that blank screen. I have SO MANY ideas!!!…I could write about ANY ONE OF THEM!!!…but which one?
Making a choice feels so daunting, I wind up not writing at all!
Another student idea also struck me a useful: the graphic organizer. A graphic organizer is a chart or web or outline or any other visual representation that will…

Help your students classify ideas and communicate more effectively. Use graphic organizers to structure writing projects, to help in problem solving, decision making, studying, planning research and brainstorming.

Great for students, and great for me! At least half of these seem perfectly suited to adult use.

Finally, I realized that I enjoy the habit of writing every day, and I miss it. So I’m going to try to get back to that, even though my posts may sometimes be short.

I’m going try choosing a different topic category for each day of the week, and see if this narrows down my subject matter enough to give my brain something to get going on.

I’ve got some ideas for what I’ll write about each day and I hope you’ll tune in, starting tomorrow!…and see what I choose and how this new focus of mine pans out.   -Leigh