Monday, August 26, 2013

Take Stock and Stock Up

Post by Jenny

It’s that magical time of year: if the children in your vicinity haven’t yet gone back to school, they soon will. Stores are already putting the bins of school supplies on clearance in order to make room for Halloween candy. (I wish I was joking.) If you’re one of those forward-thinking parents, you will wisely stock up for next year’s back-to-school shopping season. If you’re like me, however, you will not. Instead, you will procrastinate so you must once again make fifteen separate trips, at least one of which takes place after even the bats have gone to bed, and still come away without a graph paper composition notebook.

Somehow it all gets sorted out, and after the frenzy settles, I find myself taking stock of how things are going in my writing world. Inevitably after summer, I can only give myself a C- at best. But just as students must gradually peel the layers of summer idleness from their brains, so must many of us.

If you feel that your writing energy is lagging in these dog days of summer, hit the school clearance bins and stock up on supplies for yourself.  Start with a spiral notebook and a fresh pen. Yes, it’s old school, but do an internet search on writing vs. typing and you may be inspired to go retro for at least a few minutes a day. Writing by hand better stimulates the brain’s reticular activating center, which improves learning. It also integrates visual, motor, and cognitive skills, which can help keep your brain sharp. And it keeps you away from computer distractions that eat away at your writing time. (It may not, however, keep you away from the sour cream and onion potato chips left over from your end-of-summer barbecue.)

But maybe you’re not quite ready to write. In actual words. That make sense. So pick up a box of colored pencils or markers and doodle or draw. (Don't worry, you won't be graded on it. You don't even have to stick it on the fridge if you don't want to.) Grab a glue stick and a pair of scissors and craft a collage. Make shapes with a compass and protractor. Engage your hands in creative activity and your brain will soon follow. With ideas. And characters. And plots. And words.

What was your favorite school supply? Does it still inspire a little bit of creativity?








5 comments:

Patricia Stoltey said...

Notebooks. I still can't pass a stack of new college ruled, 3 divider notebooks without buying one. This year I'm trying hard to stay out of the school supply aisle wherever I'm shopping.

Luana Krause said...

Mine was crayons. Especially the big box with 64 colors!

Deborah Nielsen said...

The Big Chief tablet was my school days favorite. Nowadays, though, I have to stay away from the office supply stores and Walmart and Target when they start running their clearance sales because I cannot pass up college-ruled composition books, college-ruled notebooks, journals or pens with pretty-colored inks. My stash will last me two lifetimes.

Luana Krause said...

Oh, yes. I'm an office supply freak, too.

Jenny said...

I love all those things too. What it is about a brand new notebook? All the potential...

No one should outgrow crayons, especially the big box!

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