Were you composing songs or poems in kindergarten or grade school? Scribing short stories in middle school? Outlining your first novel by high school? Me neither. Well, except for the songs, poems and short stories part. Writing and reading were the soul of my youth. At that time, there was a voice in me that was unique, with a narrow but colorful perspective, rich in my limited history and micro view of the world. I wrote ghost stories. Composed poems then set them to music on my ukulele. Entertained my adoring fans (family) and received pretty decent grades in my elementary English classes. (Okay, maybe not for the grammar part, but for the creative part!)
Wouldnâ€™t it be great if we could travel back to that time, when our minds were uncluttered with the many issues and experiences that mark our existence today? When most things were simple black and white? Somehow my writing seemed more â€¦pureâ€¦ at that time. Certainly it wasnâ€™t challenged by the need for someone else to read and like it!
Although today I can create much more complex characters, layered with the hues of the life of my past, I miss the sheer joy of writing for the fun of it. Maybe some of you still feel that. Fantastic! But for many of us who are struggling, perhaps itâ€™s time to get back in touch with that inner child who wanted to write in the first place.
How do we tap that voice (Short of seeing a therapist?J) Perhaps we can through quiet meditation or by taking a walk on the beach? Maybe through rediscovering something you had done as a child and truly enjoyed, like riding a horse, playing badminton or ping pong, or going ice skating? (Personally, I skate on my hind end) Maybe another way is to go to the childrenâ€™s section at the library and pick up a book that you loved when you were 10. Why was it special to you? Was it one of the tales that called you to write?
I know that I need to work on that side of me. Iâ€™ve lost some joy in recent years and some of the writing fun has gone with it. I want it back. I want to drag out those novels from under the bed and shape up those which should be returned to circulation (and quietly re-file those that shouldnâ€™t!) My own voice is special and unique, but Iâ€™m sure it could use a jolt of positive memory of where it was when I was 10. Iâ€™ll bet yours could too!
Letâ€™s drop $2 in the Write for the Money jar at the meeting and set a goal to do something childlike and fun. And a second one to write a paragraph or two soon afterwards! For those of you who canâ€™t attend the meetings, perhaps create your own Write for the Money jar, and reward yourself for having a little fun and the quality work that follows!