Another Writer In The Family?

by sjbgilmour

It’s conflicting.  There are times I wouldn’t wish the life of a writer on my worst enemy.  Other times, I revel in being one and also wish I could do more of it.  When my eldest daughter came to me this morning, and told me she wants to write a book, I had to pause for a minute.

Sure, I’d support her and help her any way I could, if she wants me to.  Yes, absolutely, I’d encourage her to have a go, even if she runs out of ideas halfway through.  Oh, God, what am I doing to this poor child?  All that and more flashed through my mind, but my mouth began offering her praise and encouragement before my brain even kicked in properly.

Then she surprised me by interrupting me mid-babble.

Miss7: “I have the idea for the story, and I know what to call the title.”

Me: “Yeah?”

She then went on to tell me all about it, but then told me she didn’t know how to go about making a book.  So I sat down with her and began going through the steps.  First we discussed her ideas.  She had a title, a character, and ideas for him, and what he does etc.  I was surprised, and really chuffed.

Me: “Wow, that’s great!  Many writers take ages to come up with ideas.   We could make this a bit of a project, if you want.  You and I could work out what happens with each idea you have for your story, you could write it down, then I could put it into the computer.”

At this point, we got interrupted because it was morning and she was supposed to be getting ready for school, but by that time, I had scribbled down a few notes.  Now I’m putting together a corkboard for chapters and ideas in Scrivener so I can show her how it works.

As I sit here, trying curb my enthusiasm (don’t want to smother the poor kid), I know that while the life of a writer can be torturous, if my daughter decides she wants to write, I could not be happier.  Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted talks on education are echoing through my mind.  I must encourage this child to be creative, and nurture that spark within her so that it becomes a flame that never goes out.