Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

‘Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.’ – Brendan Bolton, Carlton Football Club

What a great quote. I have also seen this quote elsewhere from from Luvvie Ajayi whom has given a on this exact topic… but I’ll sticking with Bolton for now… 

I took this from Narissa Leung’s website under her ‘running’ tab and in thinking about it, it had me immediately remembering back to a recent professional learning day that Narissa supported my school and another with regarding a CoP (Community of Practice) we were involved in. See my previous post regarding that day. 

One reason it resonated with me so quickly was due to an initial activity all teachers and school leaders were asked to engage in on that day. Something that we as educators expect our students to do each and every day however something that we rarely do ourselves.

So in becoming uncomfortable in being… uncomfortable, I am making attempts at being… comfortable, in sharing that particular task, yet more so, my response to it. I hope that makes sense…

The task (slightly modified due to my failing memory…):
Spend the next 15 mins writing a fictional story using the following prompt;
Today you are going to write a narrative or story. Your idea for the story is; “Imagine if a character found an object that made something amazing happen.
True to NAPLAN form, remember to;
Don’t forget about:
  • the characters and their details,
  • the complication,
  • including a beginning, middle and end.
Remember to:
  • plan your story,
  • think about the works you use, 
  • look at your spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • edit your writing.

Like most people in the room, or at last those sitting around me, I panicked a little, tried to make as many links to the stimulus as I could in a short frame time, not even bother with planning, and just get straight in to it.

So here we go. Note: this is the FIRST time I have ever, even attempted to, publish a fictional piece of text for any audience other than students I have taught… I call this being uncomfortable…


“What is it?”.

“How the hell should I know?, I’ve just found it sitting here and then called you over”. It was a strange looking object, one that neither George or Harry had ever seen before. There was a feeling of apprehension as the boys squabbled over what to do next.

“Touch it”. Harry demanded of George, curious to see what, if anything, would happen. “Ahh, don’t think so champ. You first”. “If you think I am going to simply pick that thing up you’re gravely mistaken”.

The object in question was bright gold, almost shimmering in what sun light there was left for the day. Unfamiliar markings lined each face of the object. It was small in size and could have easily fit in ones pocket, however it looked remarkably heavy, as it say there indented in to the grass as if dropped from a height.

“Poke it with a stick or something”. George suggested. “It might do something”. “It might not” Harry Shrugged. ‘Well we’re not going to know unless one of tries something, and that one of us should be you”. “How’d you come to that conclusion?” replied Harry. “Well” said George with a smirk on his face, “I am a faster runner runner than you, and if something does go south, i’ll get away first. There’s no point both of us going down”. “Hmmm. Fair call I guess”.

Harry reluctantly picked up a fallen branch from a nearby tree, a branch far too large for the task at hand however it was better to be safe than sorry, or at least that’s what he thought. “Hurry Up!” snapped George, in his impatient way and tone and from this Harry shot him a piercing glance and responded quickly. “You wanna bloody do it?”… 


There you have it. No Pulitzer Prize winning piece I am sure but for a piece of text having to be thought up and written in 15 mins, I am a tad proud of it.

To borrow from my previous post I mentioned that Riss had led us through the “writing process” and shared the the 5 core steps in that process;

  1. Pre writing planning,
  2. Drafting,
  3. Revising,
  4. Editing,
  5. Publishing.

Fair call to say that I skipped step one and went directly to step two. My plan is to now ‘revise’ the above piece (which i’ll be more comfortable in sharing albeit still uncomfortable in doing so), and then edit, and finally publish.

And as I am at the revision stage, which is the MOST important stage, I will aim to concentrate a lot of energy here and use what I learnt from the knowing more about the 6+1 traits to enhance and improve the above text.

Time will tell I guess. And those reading this be the judge/s.

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2 Replies to “Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

  1. Enjoying your return to the blogosphere Corrie. I was left thinking about you rush to write and wonder if there is still a place for such activities to help stimulate thoughts and ideas? Sometimes having something as a start allows you to easily identify what might be missing and other opportunities that might be available.

    Also on: Read Write Collect

    1. G’Day Aaron. Has been a while!
      A key takeaway for me has been how to help students to better… if that is the correct choice of word, develop ideas across a range of genres. I’ve reflected heavily on how I have taught writing over the years and can countlessly recall students sitting and not putting pen to paper because they “cannot think of anything”. And from this, once they actually do start writing, I critique 80% of their writing by focusing on their spelling, grammar and punctuation. Not ideal. Not overly helpful.
      I believe that the writer’s notebook/workshop model is a great way for students to LEARN to build ideas and facilitate deeper thinking about this.

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