Write like a 5-year-old
Last week, I pulled out a draft of a children’s story I wrote years ago — actually one of the first stories I’d ever written. I realized that the most striking thing about the story was my frame of mind while I was writing it. At that point in my life, it didn’t occur to me that I had any limitations. I didn’t sit and stew about how to get into the story, or if it was good, or what anyone would think about it, or if anyone would want to read it or publish it. When I wrote the story, I was writing like a 5-year-old plays. Being a little messy, running around (on the page), and just being in the moment.
I was writing because I had an idea, I thought it would be fun, and I wanted to share it. At the time I wrote the story, I’d never gone to a writer’s workshop or read many books on writing. Now, after studying writing and going to seminars, I’ve figured out some of its flaws.
One is that the protagonist (child) needed to solve his own problem. Despite the story’s flaws, at least I had a draft to fix and revise and build out.
The reason I’m telling you about this now is because when I ran across the story the other night, I started fiddling with it, going along, la di da, enjoying myself. At that moment, I realized I had no angst or fear or worry about how to make the changes. As I worked on the edits, I was feeding off the space I was in when I first wrote it so many years ago. That’s how writing should be. That’s the way I want to feel every time I write.
If you want to revert back to a time when you didn’t judge yourself and your creativity, look for a post tomorrow to read about how you too can write like a child.