Derek Landy was great to listen too-even if you haven't read any of his books. As my daughter said he could have been a comedian :-) He was so engaging and enthusiastic AND fantastic with his audience. Afterwards the queue was rather lengthy for signings due to his popularity AND the fact that he evidently likes to actually talk to his readers rather than just do a hasty scribble. I suspect this made the organisers of the event a bit twitchy but, for his fans it made for a much more worthwhile queuing experience as the boys above will testify. Although they waited 2 hours+ (we did feed them and everything!!) they got to chat and ask questions including this rather thoughtful one....
Will: 'Do you ever get writer's block?'
to which Derek gave a great answer - one for mulling over especially if you're a teacher with that much over used term 'reluctant writers'. First of all he said YES he did but
He spoke to them like a fellow author, to honour the fact Will was a writer too. He said to leave it and don't worry if you get it. Do something different, leave it for half an hour, go for a walk DON"T WORRY. Leave it for longer; at some point it will come back. It happens to us all.
You could try writing something else but it's important that you love writing. I leave it so I can go back to it and love it again. I write because I love writing and it's important to love writing before you can do it. Therefore, if you don't go read, do something different until you get your love back.
I just found his response really interesting, heartening and certainly food for thought. I mean that in the way we are terribly restricted in our curriculum anyway and how time ltd we are. Therefore,even though when I write things (like this blog) I have to be in the mood for it we actually expect our younger writers to be in the mood for writing at a certain time. Often this is timetabled for the morning. When you then hear writers speak and think about writing, maybe, essays PhDs etc we might have written as students did we always write at the same time. I lived in a house with 6 others but we all treated essay deadlines very differently. Some leaving it right up to the last minute with heavy doses of caffeine (yes you know who you are!!), others organised and shutting themselves away in the morning, afternoon, evening...it just depends on that individual.
So when we require our children to write what requirements do they need to write. Certainly the more we can surround children by books and stories the more they have to 'soak up' and inspire their imagination. But I think we also need to give them more opportunities to follow their writing rhythms too because actually that's what we all do as adults.