I Have Nothing to Say!

Yep, today I hit a wall. I’m tired. It’s nearly 11pm (10 pm, but for Daylight Savings Time) and I haven’t a clue what to write about. No, I don’t keep a writing notebook with tons of ideas in it. No, I don’t make a list of possible topics. I confess: I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writer. OK, the secret is out. I can breathe more easily.

Once I do get started, however, I get very into what I’m doing…as is happening right now. I start to care about what I’m writing and dig deeper for meaning. I begin to think about my audience. I am beginning to wonder…how did I become this type of writer? How many different kinds of writers are there?What’s your go-to method for writing? I suspect I have more comrades than not.

Without retelling the whole story of how I became a writer which I’ve already done in a previous post or two in the past three years, let’s just say it didn’t happen until I was middle-aged when I finally developed a voice. Now you can’t shut me up.

How did I exist without a voice for so long? Good question. It may have had something to do with being one of eight children. None of my siblings had a voice because we all had to repress our own identities in order to make the family dynamic work. Hell, I didn’t even know I could express a wish or desire, much less an opinion. It took a kindly professor in graduate school to coax my voice out of me. He did it by speaking to me as though my writing mattered. He encouraged me to write more. And voila! A voice was born.

Not having a voice for so long gave me a lot of empathy for students of any age who struggle to find their voices. I truly believe it made me a more patient, caring teacher. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. It makes you feel invisible.

The person who launched me on this blogging site, Kathleen Sokolowski, also believed in my voice and encouraged me to join the March Challenge three years ago. So now I just can’t go to bed without writing a post and saluting all of you teachers and writers out there who are in this together, and who understand the dreadful feeling of having nothing to say, and who keep writing nonetheless. I’d never let you down.

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37 thoughts on “I Have Nothing to Say!”

  1. good job! I am struggling tonight as well – and thought I would read some of the other posts in order to be inspired. And yours helped 🙂 I grew up in an opinionated family, and was worried that I might be wrong and become part of a debate that I couldn’t win. I have started to find my voice through writing. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I’m glad to hear you’re discovering your own voice. I generally shrink away from highly opinionated people who love to debate (argue) since they’re not really interested in hearing anyone’s voice other than their own. Not this community, though…we love hearing your voice.

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  2. Finding your voice is the first step to becoming a life-long writer. I come from a big family (10) also, but I was the youngest and was a spoiled brat who spoke her mind from the beginning. Nevertheless, it was in writing that I found my niche. I’ve kept journals from the first grade on. They’re a hoot to read now! Thank you for sharing the importance of finding one’s voice. As teachers we need to remember that importance as we work with our young writers every day.

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  3. Isn’t it amazing when you think you have nothing to say and you really did have something to say? I have a ton of journals/writer’s notebooks I have started but also just write in the moment. Actually, I don’t think my writing is as good on my blog because I write and publish instead of writing, reflecting, and revising. 🙂

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  4. Except for the large family this sounds like me. I didn’t consider myself a writer until I took a Summer Writing Institute at Penn State Harrisburg in 2000. The facilitators believed in me and helped me find my voice. Four years ago a friend introduced me to blogging and TWT. Things blossomed from there. So glad you found your voice and that you share it.

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    1. Thanks for the tip, Stacey. I did read her post and found it, well, joyful! I’ll be experimenting with a list one of these days when I run out of steam. I was curious to see what would happen if I truly had nothing to say, and was pleasantly surprised by the result!

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  5. Just the fact that you have nothing to write about is something to write about. Thinking about being a writer often leads to reflections, which leads to thoughts to share, because you are a writer. I like to have a couple backup posts ready for the day I can’t find a worthy moment.

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    1. I think that’s a good idea…backup posts…but somehow I never get around to it. Like I said, I’m a “fly by the seat of my pants” gal. After 3 years of doing this I don’t get too nervous anymore.

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  6. I adore the idea of “coaxing a voice” – what a great verb to use to describe the start of your writing journey. Any glimpse into someone else’s process is always valuable, and I really appreciate seeing yours.

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  7. I also figure it out when I sit down to write. Usually late at night – I see you posting around the same time as me. It must all be floating around in my head but . . . who knows. Glad I am not alone in this.

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