For strong writers, blocks can be wildly discouraging. When words usually flow smoothly from pencil to page, obstacles are tricky to navigate. Struggling writers develop persistence and patience with every writing task. However, stronger writers don’t always build those skills. They don’t need them … until they do.
When a strong writer stumbles across a challenge, sometimes they think: I must not be any good. If their words don’t come out easily, frustration erupts. Strong writers need creative supporters to help them move through these challenging moments. They need someone to ask, “How’s the writing going?” They might shrug and say, “I got bored,” or their nostrils may flare and they may shout, “Ugh. Leave me alone!” Translate these responses to, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I used to be a good writer, but something happened.”
This frustrated, confused, or even angry writer needs someone to assure them that writing can be challenging. For everyone. Even for genius writers such as J.K. Rowling. To move from good to truly great, our strong writer will have to learn to identify weaknesses without running from them, and how to practice new skills that don’t come quick as a snap. They will have to develop courage to revise and to face difficult feedback.
As parents and educators who support strong writers, we need a skill set of our own. We need to learn to identify blocks for what they are and have a set of strategies for talking them through. That’s why we designed a cheat sheet just for you: Rx for Youth Writers: How to Help Your Creative Child Overcome Common Blocks.
We know it’s not easy to dive into these difficult conversations, but we promise that the creative youth in your life will be immensely relieved when you speak up. Writers need to write, after all, and the longer we let blocks set in, the grumpier we’re likely to become. You’ll be giving them a gift, and eventually—though maybe not at this exact moment—they’ll be grateful that you did.
Don’t forget to download your cheat sheet! And, as always, feel free to reach out to us to learn more about ways that Society of Young Inklings can support you and your young writer.
Rx for Youth Writers
Five Strategies to Help Your Creative Child Overcome Common Blocks