Reluctant writer excuses: Why kids won’t write

Though reluctant writer excuses vary widely, their inability to transfer ideas to paper often leads to apathy and frustration.

Though reluctant-writer excuses vary widely, one thing is certain: a child’s inability to transfer ideas to paper often leads to apathy and frustration.

Does your child complain about writing or give reasons why he “can’t write today”? What would he or she add to this list?

Ode to the Reluctant Writer

I can’t write today because I lost my pencil.
I can’t write today because I feel sick.
I can’t write today because my parakeet died.
I can’t write today because I wrote yesterday.
I can’t write today because my fingers are sore.
I can’t write today because my chair squeaks.
I can’t write today because I can’t think of anything to say.
I can’t write today because I don’t feel like it.
I can’t write today because it’s almost time for lunch.
I can’t write today because I’d rather draw.
I can’t write today because I didn’t have any breakfast.
I can’t write today because I ripped my paper.
I can’t write today because my hands are dirty.
I can’t write today because I can’t spell.
I can’t write today because I can’t see the board.
I can’t write today because it’s too noisy.
I can’t write today because I hate writing.
I can’t write today because somebody will copy me.
I can’t write today because I couldn’t get my locker open.
I can’t write today because I have to go the bathroom.
I can’t write today because the sun is in my eyes.
I can’t write today because there’s no more room on my paper.

—Robin Staudt

Do You Have a Reluctant Writer?

As you begin to think ahead toward the start of the new school year, why not take a few minutes to gather some encouragement and helpful tips so that you and your child can set out on a better foot come September. Try some of these articles for starters:

Creative Commons photo courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt.

3 Comments

  • Posted July 19, 2010

    JoJo Tabares

    That’s cute!

  • Posted August 8, 2010

    Cleide Nacimento

    “I can´t think of anything to write about”, “I can´t write because I lost my pencil” and “I can´t write because I feel sick” are the three most common excuses my students use not to write in class. It´s hard sometimes, but I keep trying involving them as much as possible. I won´t quit.

  • Posted August 8, 2010

    Kim

    It can be challenging to find just the right motivator for those reluctant writers of ours. I’m glad you’re a teacher who’s so committed to your students.

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