Happy Wednesday! I’m happy to report that I’m having a much better week. There are words. There are smiles. There are less feelings of inadequacy. Always a plus in my book. (Not my actual book that I’m writing, but the book of what I think about life, I suppose.)
One of the things that put said smiles on my face this week was my tiny writer’s group. And no, it’s not a small, intimate group of writers (though I do have that, too). This is a group, and a rather large one at that, of writers who are of the tinier-than-me persuasion. Kids. My kids.
At school, I run an after school club. Publisher’s Club. We get together once a week and talk about craft (yes, they know about craft). We talk about our struggles, our triumphs, our work as writers. My principal asks me, at least three times each year, “You still doing Publisher’s Club?” Now, I know she thinks it’s wonderful. But I also know she’s worried about her teachers burning out because of having too much on their plates (ahem… last week may or may not have been a taste of that).
And each time she asks me this and tips her head to the side and gives me that mamma-bear-I-want-you-to-take-care-of-yourself look, I tell her the same thing.
These kids are THE reason I’m still holding it together.
Because they are. They. Are. Wonderful.
They help me remember the intense sweetness of my own imagination. Because that’s a huge part of why I write. It makes me feel like a kid again. It makes me feel justified in my fantasies. Sure! You can have an imaginary friend. And, of course it can be a dragon! Yes, animals can communicate with us through telepathy. You bet there’s hidden treasure hidden somewhere in the Seattle Underground.
These amazing tiny writers surprise me, make my chest ache with pride, and make my eyes water more and more every day. They are everything I am not in my weakest moments as a writer, heck, as a person. They are brave. They will plop that piece of writing down in front of twenty other people even though half the words might be misspelled. They are kind. They write characters who are so pure that it makes you shiver. They are funny. They write about power hungry rabbits and stealthy ninja unicorns (who are total slobs, btw). They imagine a world so awesome, so real in their eyes.
And, buddy, can they brainstorm. These kids (aside from my wonderful group and awesome husband) are some of the best people to talk to you when you have writer’s block. Can’t think of a way to get your characters to the next clue in a mystery? Why not follow a trail of banana slugs? Need to create drama in your story? Why can’t there be a random explosion in the cafeteria? Brainstorming with them is an exercise in extreme imagination. It puts a smile on my face as wide as the biggest banana slug you’ve ever seen.
So there it is. I suppose that’s what I need to do every time I’m stuck. Because the hunger in their eyes for new information, how they run to their writing spot when I finish our lesson, the way their faces light up when we share pieces we wrote at the end. That’s what it’s all about.
And they make me hungry to learn more too.
They make me want to run home and get to my writing spot.
They make my face light up.
I hope you can find something that reminds you of why you write (if you do) or why you do whatever it is that makes you happy, whatever it is that makes you feel like a kid again. You might not be able to find as many of them as I have, but I can pretty much guarantee the answer lies within those tiny little humans. Whether your passion is gardening, sports, crafts, music, or something I can’t think of at this moment, I bet you 5 bucks kids can help you find the passion again. Dig your fingers in the dirt, get in a water fight instead of watering the plants (I’m sure some of the water will get where it’s supposed to), run like you have nowhere to go, kick/hit/shoot from your heart, pick the messiest project you can think of, or the one that has always scared you, let your whole body listen to a song.
Feel the intense sweetness of enjoying life.
Thanks for reading.