Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Writer's Wednesday: Be a Child

(photograph- my son, Cyrus)

Three things children know and so should writers.

Children know that something you love is play. Make what you used to love work and the point is entirely lost. Duh! My four year old knows that... and yet I forget.
Remember play? Sticky fingers, sand in your hair, muddy feet and the sun on your cheeks? Do you feel that way about writing? The first thing I every wrote was a play. I was eight and I was in love with this pen on paper thing. It was fabulous darling! There I was casting my teddies and my little sister in minor roles while I, of course took the lead. Play. And fun. Remember?
Even work is not work if you have a heart of play.

Children know that they CAN.
They can... (fill in blank), anywhere anytime. Go to any kindergarten and ask them. Can you climb that six foot high pine tree? Yup. Can you out run a car? Uh huh.  Are you going to fly one day? Will you play soccer for Manchester United? Yes, yes, YES!
Kids have no problems with believing. Remember that kind of unshakable belief? How much do you believe in your own writing?

Children just are.
It hasn't occurred to them hide behind inauthentic words, or laugh when they really want to cry. In fact most children have the opposite problem. They say it like it is at the most inappropriate (and often highly embarrassing) times.

Short illustration.
My four year old yelled out loudly in the shops, "Mommy, can I have some new underwear?"
"No," I said, feel a little red, "You have plenty."
"Yeah, but they are all dirty cause you haven't done the washing yet," he said.
I died.
We left the store.
Children just are.
Are you in your writing? Really?

What about you? Do you write with your inner child?


  1. OH MY GOODNESS, yes!! lol Children are hilarious and there's so much we can learn from them.

  2. Love this post, Tabitha--thanks for the reminder to be childlike. Doncha love those transparent public moments? I would have died, too, and then gone home and taught him how to do laundry!!! HA!

  3. Thank you, Tabitha - I would never miss an opportunity to relish my inner kid - I think I'll invite her to help with my revisions today - she always has swell ideas.

  4. I'm sorry. I'm still laughing about the underwear. But don't worry, mine have said worse.

  5. Love that laundry story! Oh yes, we need to clear our heads of all that takes us away from that open innocence.

  6. Love that laundry story! Oh yes, we need to clear our heads of all that takes us away from that open innocence.

  7. I love this! Especially the laundry story. Yikes!!!

    Ah, to write as a child. I try, seriously, very hard to see the world through new eyes every day. What's sad is that I have to try. When I forget, when I lose myself in the stress of the world around me, I feel flummoxed out of sorts. But if I take time and come back to that inner child, the girl who still believes in angels and demons and fairies, all is right with the world again.

    Thanks for this! I've been away for a while. It's good to read your words again.

  8. Children have no filters and like you said they are authentic, that's what I love. Great underwear story

  9. Love the underwear story! And great advice. I try to write with my inner child, but sometimes my adult thinking gets in the way.

  10. You know, I can't say that I've consciously tried doing this--writing with my inner child. I'm going to have to try this...right after I do the laundry. LOL

  11. I certainly do engage my inner child in constructing my fiction. He's somewhat tortured, which explains many of my storylines.

  12. Oh you're so right :) The more time I spend as a grown up, the more I wish I was a kid again.

  13. Thank you, your post inspired me to write on my blog. :)

  14. Thank you for sharing dear one. Blessings.