Free Flowing

     Why is it that adult writers have such a hard time letting go of details? Why do we slow down the free flow of ideas — even in a first draft — to get bogged down trying to find just that perfect word?

     I was so pleased watching my daughter write a story this evening. After fifteen minutes of hearing the scratch of pencil on paper, I saw her walk up to me, notebook in hand, to get my take on her story. She was quick to say it was a first draft, unfinished, grammar not taken in account, etc. I suppose she expected me to start correcting misspellings.

     I wouldn’t have dreamed of it. How wonderful to see her write! How liberating to see her just go with it!

     Sure, young children generally have neither the grammar skills nor the vocabulary to write flawless works with words concise enough to match every nuance. That doesn’t make their effort and especially the “imperfect” execution less wonderful. In fact, many of us adult writers could learn from their example. We could just write and worry about the fixes later. No need to sink into that quicksand of “correction.”

1 reply
  1. Rebecca Laffar-Smith
    Rebecca Laffar-Smith says:

    I feel exactly the same way. The only time I ever correct my daughter on a word is if she specifically asks me to. I’m always just so thrilled when she voluntarily takes up the pencil. She has written a book. She cut out the little bits of paper, drew pictures and wrote the story on each page and sticky taped it all together. All by herself. I think it’s wonderful. 🙂

    I think more parents should encourage their children. Kids should be praised for trying not ridiculed for their efforts. Kids haven’t learned to do things in halves yet. They give it their all. If we cast negative light onto those efforts we would train them not to try so hard. I’d rather she give it everything she’s got and love the process then to give up because it’s too hard to ‘get it right’.

    Now, if only adults, could get back into that child mentality. Sometimes it is very hard to cast aside the fear of failure or rejection and simply write for the love of it.

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