Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Writing: It's in the Genes

(Nearly late January??? How did that happen? I guess I can still say Happy New Year. I have until the end of the month, don't I? Okay. Good. Happy New Year!)

Unlike some children, both my kids love to write. School assignments that ask for a paragraph get a page or two. A simple question turns into a thesis.

My youngest, who will be 11 this year, has been writing and illustrating stories since kindergarten. We have stacks and stacks of books she made at school. Pages and pages of drawings of characters that live in her head. There are documents on two home computers, a 3-ring binder, and at least two spiral notebooks filled with her squished-together printing. She loves to talk about her stories, loves to brainstorm with me or her sister. There are two writing contests she's preparing to enter in the next couple of months.

My oldest, soon to be 14 (yikes!), caught the writing bug a little later in her young life. Only within the last year or so has she seriously sat down to put a story on the page that wasn't a school assignment. She even attempted the young writers' version of NaNoMo and asked her Language Arts teacher if it could be part of their classwork/extra credit. The teacher was happy my daughter was writing, but the current curriculum was already full. Creative writing on that scale would have to wait. That didn't stop my daughter. She stuck with it, wrote every day, and I believe completed the 20K word requirement. She is also working on at least two Sci Fi stories and does a little fan fiction here and there. For her research paper in L.A., she is writing about what it takes to get published.

Some of our best times together are when we're discussing one of their stories or something about the craft. It's amazing to see where their imaginations go. (Strange places indeed, but not a shock there.) I love it when we're talking about plot or characterization or pacing or what have you and I see in their eyes the sudden dawning of comprehension. That light bulb moment where it all seems to make sense. They get it. They apply what they've learned to their personal writings as well as assignments.

My kids are not athletic. They aren't social butterflies. For the most part, they aren't "joiners" of activities. They are more introverted and tend to observe rather than participate. In other words, they have the makings of writers. No, not the makings. They ARE writers.

Could a writer mom be more happy? I think not.

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At 11:58 AM, Blogger LVLM(Leah) said...

All in the family, how cool! That's nice that you all have that common interest and can talk writerly talk.

Plus, people who can write well get on much better in higher Ed and life in general. Good for your kids. :)

At 4:31 AM, Blogger Maria Zannini said...

How good for them to have someone who not only understands them but can help them navigate publishing waters.

Lucky kids all around. (and one proud mama)

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Thanks, Leah and Maria. It is a blast talking to them about a subject we all enjoy : )

A couple of years ago, my mom told me my father liked to write in his younger days. Wish I'd have known before he passed away. It would have been great to share something like that with him.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Writer and Cat said...

Awwwwwwwww :) My kids haven't shown these tendencies yet, not to that extent, but it does sound like fun!

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Yours will, W&C, just you wait : )

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Meretta said...

My eldest is also a writer! I know that she'll be published LONG before I will though as it is so much a part of who she is. She is so focused.

She did NaNoWriMo this year too and pushed herself to stick with the adult guidelines so she's got herself a nifty little novel of 60K that she's editing right now and wanting to send in to have her "proof."

I think it's really cool that you can share your writing with your daughters, Cathy. Maybe you guys will be one of those mother/daughter writing teams one day?!

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Cathy in AK said...

Wow, Meretta! Your girl did 60K?!? Very impressive.

It is fun to share, but I doubt we'll be a mother-daughter team. At least not for the forseeable future : )

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While purchasing DD#1's birthday gift I saw that you can buy an e-card that allows them to write their own book and then it gets bound, etc. etc. I will have to keep the idea in mind for DD#2 or for Christmas.


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