My challenge for today is to set a timer for ten minutes. I have to open a new post. Start the timer, and start writing. When the timer goes off, publish.
It rained today. Just about all day. A constant trickle of water ran from the sky and pooled in inconvenient places, causing great splashes to leap up to my knees when I dared to go outside.
The drip drip drip drip outside our lounge room door continued metronomically into the afternoon, then all of a sudden stopped.
The silence ran to four minutes, then extended to five. We were on the edge of our seats, hushed, breathless, ears akimbo, waiting for the next verse of the drip
I can’t do this. I’ve started five different posts and deleted four of them. I can’t write under this pressure when I have nothing to write about. I should have been more prepared. Thought of something, a topic, an issue, a situation, something, anything to write about before I started the timer.
But I didn’t.
I don’t know what I expected when I pushed ‘start’ – that inspiration would hit me and something would leap into my mind and out through my fingers as if by magic?
I seriously don’t think I was thinking that far ahead, to be quite honest.
And so, a blank page.
This is what some teachers do to children.
‘Alright children, it’s story-writing time. You have ten minutes. Go.’
It’s not right. Writers need more than a time limit. They need ideas. They need thinking time. They need time to craft and organise and structure and develop.
One of my grandsons is in Year 3 this year. That means that late in May he did the NAPLAN test for the first time. In their preparation lessons, they practiced writing persuasive texts. He wrote about burning the school down.
I don’t know how persuasive it was, but it certainly caught the teacher’s attention.
He has more imagination than me though!