Get out of a Writing Rut

I keep a private, family-only blog about my daughter’s daily life.  I began keeping it about a week after she was born.  Unless we were out of town, I blogged each and every day of her life.  By the end of 2011, I was getting pretty tired of blogging.  In fact, I began to find writing the daily posts boring.  I started thinking about updating her blog weekly, but couldn’t muster the nerve it would have taken to cut back.  (Also, I didn’t want to break her grandparents’ hearts since they look forward to reading the posts and seeing the photos I take of her daily.)  However, I knew something had to change since I wanted writing about my daughter’s daily slices of life to be pleasurable again.

On January 1st, I started writing the daily blog posts to my daughter, rather than about my daughter. At first I thought I’d give it a try for a week, but over two weeks later, I’m still doing it.  I feel as though new life has been breathed into the moments I’m choosing to capture about her since I’m writing to her.  (I excerpted yesterday’s post from her private blog here.)  I envision me writing to an older Isabelle.  I’m not sure if she’ll be eight, a teenager, or a mom herself when she chooses to sit down and read the private blog I keep about her life.  However, knowing that I’m writing to her, rather than about her has helped to make her blog feel less like a chore and more like an interesting record of her days.

I’m sure some of your students are in writing ruts with regard to their writer’s notebooks.  Try encouraging them to change their audience.  Sometimes a small shift can help us find our voices (again) as writers.