Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Children and Writing

So, yesterday, we talked about children and the lessons we learn from them. Here's a few thoughts about what they can teach us as writers.

The world is full of wonder. My four year old thinks that scaring the robin in the front yard is the most exciting thing you can do with your day. One of the very first posts I wrote was about the joy my little boys found in spitting in a beam if sunlight and seeing the light glint of it. Everything is amazing. And everything is worth exploring. In writing, we have to have that sense of wonder. The desire to see what's just around the corner.

I love watching my boys play. They can turn a few, completely unrelated toys into a full afternoon of games. They chatter at each other and see the little world they have created all around them. They don't need anyone to entertain them or tell them what the rules are. They just make it up and have the best time ever. In our writing, we need the same imagination and abandon. No one can tell us the best way to write or what our stories should be about.

My kids just amaze me with their ability to make the most of their time. They squeeze in every last minute of the day from the time they wake up until we put them to bed. (And sometimes after we put them to bed.) Everything they do is the most important thing they could possibly do with that moment. "Mom, I can't eat lunch right now. I am jumping on the bed." (Yes, that actually happened today.) In our writing, it's really easy to wish we were doing something else. Instead of writing for that extra half  hour, we wish we were watching that TV show we used to. Instead of getting the dishes done, we wish we were reading the next book on our TBR pile. Instead of enjoying quality family time, we wish we were writing. There's lots of things to do with a limited amount of time. And just like a little kid, we can make the most of our time and make the thing we are doing the most important for that moment.

I've posted previously about some of the things my kids have taught me. You can check it out here.

So, friends, what have children taught you about writing?


Shannon O'Donnell said...

Patience! My kids have most definitely taught me patience. They remind me that it isn't easy, that it takes more than one try, that it's okay tomess up and start over...

Krista V. said...

I love this line: "Everything they do is the most important thing they could possibly do with that moment." I need to live in the moment more.