Try This! - Write About How Much You Are Not Writing

By Christopher Lehman

I do not mean to cast aspersions, but I’m highly suspect of people who say they write all the time.

While I try to write all the time, most of the time I spend “writing” is actually time spent doing anything but that. Anything but. 


Writing can be so much fun. 

Writing can also feel like so much work (and anyone who tells you otherwise you should also be highly suspect of while attempting to not cast aspersions).

I realize that for me, and maybe you, while I’m not actually writing I am often still thinking about writing. In fact, I think about what I could write about all day long, almost every day.  I can write draft after draft in my head or come up with a long list of really great writing ideas. I just don’t write it down that much.

I invite you to join me in writing about how much you are not writing. For example, you might do what I just did and record all of the things you are thinking and doing while you are avoiding actually writing anything down. I made this list (the one with the cheese quesadilla) while not writing this notebook post for Amy LV (sorry Amy).

Click to Enlarge this Procrastinating Notebook Page

Christopher Lehman is an educator, author of several books for teachers, and Founding Director of The Educator Collaborative. Find him on Twitter at @iChrisLehman.

To go back to the list of all Try This! ideas, click HERE.
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  1. Love the quesadilla! Here's a hint--to waste even more time, don't make a cheese quesadilla, try a ground beef one or chopped veggie one. (Don't use cheese, which melts and holds it all together.) The minute you take a bite, half the filling will fall out the bottom and you have to take time to pick up the tiny bits, and then wipe the table, then stain-stick your shirt...

    FYI, the link for The Educator Collaborative, took me to

  2. Love this! Especially because it sounds like me in high school and college. We always had to keep a journal, which, as much as I enjoyed writing, I HATED - so a good number of my entries were essays or poems about not having anything to write about! (One teacher even called me on it, saying she thought it was amusing that I spend so much time writing about not writing!)

  3. Fun entry in this series, Amy & Christopher.

    Just yesterday I came across a spot-on-topic poem by Richard Le
    in Sharon Lovejoy's SUNFLOWER HOUSES book. The poem is " I Meant to Do My Work Today," & it is on poemhunter & other sites, I believe.

    Thanks for sharing the not writing notebook page - I especially am prone to the gathering tools aspect of not writing....