One is eight, and the other is six. Both are related to me, and both have won my word-loving heart as they told me about the stories they were writing—some complete with their own pencil or crayon illustrations. The younger kids in our family may do the same; the signs are there (though I may also be writing about critters, ballet, and all manner of interests!). But these two girls are already fully into the early-grade-school, creative writing groove. Here’s my letter to them (and really, to all the youngest of writers).
You might not know right now how GREAT it is that grown-ups encourage you to love reading, to love books, to love stories, to use your imagination, and . . . to write! It’s fun, isn’t it?
It doesn’t matter that you are still learning to spell. You’ll get there. It doesn’t matter if you use a computer keyboard, a yellow pencil, or a glow-in-the-dark pen when you write. Crayons work too.
What matters—besides having fun—is that writing helps you as you grow up. That is why it’s so great. No matter what kind of school you are in, learning how to write will make school even better and more fun! No matter what your grown-up job turns out to be someday, you’ll be able to write so well that people will have no trouble understanding what you are trying to say when you need to write to them. (But if you discover it’s hard to read or write, then tell someone you need help. Everyone needs help sometimes.)
Here is the part where I get to cheer you on with five ideas.
1. Tell whoever encourages you to write a big fat thank you. Maybe you could even write a thank-you note for them. Hmm. I love to get thank-you notes!
2. Read, read, read. Reading makes writers better writers. Reading gives you ideas about what to write. Don’t you think so?
3. Ask others to read to you. Grown-ups and older kids can be busy, but they might also remember how much they loved it when someone read to them when they were your age. Ask them what their favorite book was.
4. Write, write, write. Maybe you could write a story and give it as a birthday or Christmas gift. Or write something for someone who is sick or in the hospital to cheer them up. You can write stories, but you can also write poems or Get Well cards to help someone have a better day.
5. Keep a list of what you would like to read about and ideas for stories to write. Then when you have a chance to get some books or write some stories, you’ll already know where to start!
Now . . . ready, set, write!
Love, your grandmother, great-aunt, and . . . a grown-up writer!