Toddlers: Writing Gurus?

Saturday, August 25, 2007
Hello fellow bloggers and bloggesses! =oD

Okay, I don’t know whether it stems from my being stuck inside with my kids too much the last week or if it’s more due to writer’s block but my toddlers taught me some valuable writing tips.

Let’s start with their complete inhibition in expressing their emotions. Toddlers belly laugh until they get hiccups, weep shamelessly when they’re upset and, Oh BOY, can they express anger. And they do so with no worries as to how people will perceive them. As writers, we should be willing to make ourselves vulnerable so we can honestly express our emotions in our words. Which brings me to my second observation.

Because toddlers are so open with their feelings, they are pros in eliciting those emotions in other people. I challenge anyone not to at least crack a smile when babies or children are laughing. Don’t you feel those heart-strings tugging when they cry? And, I don’t know about you, but I sure feel slightly miffed when a tantrum goes on a bit too long. As writers, if we aren’t able to express feelings (whether fiction or nonfiction) we certainly can’t inspire our readers to share our writing experience to the fullest extent.

Finally, and the strongest characteristic toddlers have, they seem to have no problem saying whatever is on their minds (even if it is in a crowded elevator). If they have a question, they ask it and they continue to ask until they find the answer they seek. If they have an opinion on something, they give it freely. If they feel something is important enough to talk about, they talk. As writers we too should be able to use our talent with words to ask and find questions, give our opinions or discuss important issues without fear.

Now, obviously, we would use a lot more decorum in our work. I think calling an editor or publisher a “stupidhead” because they reject our work; or flopping down on our backs then flailing our arms and legs around until our faces turn red to be heard may end that writing career pronto. But being in-tuned with our emotions, using our beautiful words to elicit emotions in others and saying what is on our minds (in a tactful way) are awesome tools of our trade to remember.

There you go…from my house to yours.

It just goes to show: you’re never too young to teach something and never too old to learn. ;o)

Happy writing!


Danette Haworth said...

Yes, children do pop out with interesting and often unrelated comments.

My new neighbor introduced me to her little boy the other day. Here's how our conversation went:

Me: "Hello!"

Boy: "My mom's 38."

Chynna said...

Oh...that's priceless. When my youngest sister was about five, I walked her to school one morning. She was SO proud to have her BIG, OLDER sister and introduced me to everyone.

Her teacher goes, "How exciting for you, Kahla, to have your big sister come to school with you today."

Kahla sported a big smile then says, "Yeah! She's REALLY old too. I think she's 80!"

I think I was about 26 but to a group of 5 year olds...that's about 80. ;o)


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