I always say that if you want to be successful, write with your child in mind.
As the saying goes, if you can’t write with a child, you can never write at all.
When I first started writing essays, I had my kids in mind, but my parents were also writers.
I remember telling them that if I was to write a good essay, I would have to start from scratch.
They were intrigued.
For many years, I’ve been fascinated with how writing with a young child impacts my writing.
I’ve always wanted to know what they think about a given topic.
I’ve always felt that children are a natural audience for my writing, and so, when they ask for my ideas, I want to know how they would react.
I think it’s important to understand how your kids feel about your writing and how you can best use their input.
So, I started writing with my four-year-old daughter, Sarah.
Sarah’s been writing for years, but when we first began writing, she was a little different.
She’d write essays about movies, books, and animals, but she’d always be curious about my writing style.
After my first essay, Sarah and I shared a little about what we both loved about writing and we talked about what she would want me to write about.
She loved how much she liked my work, so we decided to write more of the same.
As I wrote Sarah’s essays, her writing became even more complex.
I was thinking about what Sarah wanted me to say about something and then I came up with a few questions I wanted to ask.
What are the first few sentences of your writing?
Sarah’s first sentence is often what she asks me for most of the time, so I was interested in figuring out what it meant.
I often write that first sentence to make sure it’s simple and straightforward, but I knew that the rest of my writing would be different.
Did Sarah ever ask you to make a specific point?
She always said, “I’ll make you one.”
Do you think your writing style changes when you’re writing with your daughter?
Sometimes, Sarah will ask for specific things in her writing, like how many times I write her name in bold, or when I write that she’s a princess.
I find that she likes to ask questions like that.
Why did you choose to write with her?
When Sarah asked for a certain point, I thought, “What would I say?”
And she liked that.
She liked how I answered questions and what I said.
You’ve said you’re happy with how she’s responded to your essays.
What do you think her answers to your questions mean to you?
Sarah likes to talk about her own opinions, and we also talked about her favorite books.
She likes to make it clear that her answers are hers.
When I was writing with her, I knew Sarah would be interested in my opinions, but her responses to my questions weren’t necessarily her own.
I had a lot of confidence in her, so when she would ask for an opinion, I felt like I was able to respond.
How would you describe your writing process?
I always feel like writing with an adult helps me be more precise and to know my way around writing.
When writing, I usually write a lot and I try to keep it to a minimum.
Sarah loves her words, so that’s something I try not to do.
I try and write as fast as I can.
Where do you see yourself writing in 10 years?
I’d like to write as much as possible and as often as I possibly can.
Sarah’s got a big head and a big heart.
I’d love to write books that she loves and that she reads.