Saturday, December 22, 2007
At the church I attend, a little girl has caught my
eye. She has a sweet demeanor, unless her brothers get
out of hand and she has to straighten them out a bit.
She eagerly looks forward to school each day, and will
be part of a special program for gifted students next
year. She observes the world quietly, huge eyes
missing nothing. And guess what else?

Keyona is a writer. She proudly showed me a poem she
wrote after service one Sunday and it was good.
Extremely good. And when I told her that I wanted a
copy of my own, she hugged me with a delighted giggle.

Keyona shared with me that she wants to be a writer
and have her mother illustrate her books. Her eyes lit
when I told her about journaling, writing
her thoughts and experiences in her own private book,
for her eyes only. She dreams about owning one in
light blue, her favorite color.

Keyona’s mother told me that the nine-year old writes
constantly, about anything and everything, and how
she’s started buying notebooks and writing pads for
her. Her excitement and pride are barely contained and
rightfully so.

Reminds me of another nine-year old who wanted to be a
writer too, but she planned to illustrate her own
books. Her mother kept her liberally supplied with
writing materials, doing whatever she could to help
her child develop her craft, including enrolling her
in a summer writing program. It took a number of
years, but Mom’s investment worked and I’ve begun to
walk in my writing call.

As you invest in your writing, keep an eye out for the
younger writers you may encounter. Spend some time
sharing your experiences with poetry or songwriting.
Point them to the growing numbers of websites
specifically for teen and child writers. Maybe there’s
a short story waiting to be co-written by you and a
young daughter or niece. Books, magazine
subscriptions, courses and conferences related to
writing make great gifts for these young authors.

I look forward to spending more time with Keyona,
passing on the craft.

And hunting for a light blue journal ready to share
secrets with a delightful nine-year old.

Jill Earl


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