In this series, I'm talking about the five ongoing practices you can apply to transform your struggling Restless Writer into a Confident, Fearless writer.
1. Acknowledge their Fear (all creatives experience this!)
2. Encourage and Support (their ideas and their reasons for writing)
3. Listen and be Invested (how and when to offer feedback)
4. Reality Check (list fears they’ve overcome in the past)
5. Validate their Identity (gifts that help them own the title of “writer”)
Today, is Method 2
2. Encourage + Support:
Encourage their story ideas without censoring them.
Listen, I’m a mom, I get that we have to protect our kids and be cautious about what they consume. However, I’ve seen so many young writers struggle to come up with ideas because they feel stifled by their teachers or parents who told them they can’t write about guns, or monsters, or include blood or bullying or some other “off limit” topic in their stories. But this only squelches the creative process. This stifles the development of independent thought. Your child has her own opinions that she wants to explore.
Limiting story topics hinders their confidence. It’s telling them “you’re too young to write about such things,” or it makes them feel “wrong” or “bad” for wanting to write about certain themes.
Kids want to write about things they observe, wonder about, know for certain or want to explore. They’re learning who they are and what they stand for. They’re playing with words and ideas, they’re practicing cause and effect in a fictional world.
Give them the freedom they need to truly explore their creativity. I promise they won’t become a serial killer.
Support their need to write and their reason for wanting to write.
As writers, we create for many reasons and those reasons are always changing.
We write to express ourselves,
We write to share our view,
We write to influence or cajole,
We write to entertain - surprise - invoke some emotion in our reader,
We write to learn,
We write to scream,
We write to listen to ourselves and to think on paper.
Talk to your Restless Writer about why they love to write.
What part of the writing process do they enjoy most? What part do they struggle with?
When you discover their “why” you can remind them of the bigger picture when they are having doubts and want to quit.
You can remind them that they have a story to tell and it’s important to write it down. To share it.
Tomorrow, we'll go over method 3 of 5 in transforming your Restless Writer by Listening + Being Invested in their passion for writing.
I'll talk about the right way to offer constructive feedback. Hint: it's more about the questions you ask!