Last week, I was invited to go see some young poets read from their works at a Chapters store. My friend Kevin teaches grade two in an elementary school and runs a writing club after classes. He had arranged the reading. The club is made up of kids from grades 3 to grade 8.
I went to the reading to be supportive. I left inspired.
Each poet had picked a poem to be printed and read. And each poet bravely read their poem to the people gathered. And then, Kevin asked for suggestions for topics, ideas and/or objects to be used as an inspiration for a poem. The words “When I grow up…” were selected and off the young poets went. They had ten minutes to write a poem.
And ten minutes later, they all came back with poems. Good poems. They read their works aloud to us. We laughed. We smiled. We nodded in agreement. And we marvelled at their creativity.
I was struck by the fearlessness of these kids. And I was struck by their joy. These nine to twelve year-old kids love to write. You can tell they love to write!
Often, when you get a bunch of adult writers together, they complain about the writing process. It’s hard. It’s lonely. It takes a long time.
I am guilty of that kind of thinking.
I think it’s because I keep thinking about the product. I have to write this play. I have to write a blog post.
These kids aren’t thinking about the poem. They’re thinking about the process. They just write because writing is fun.
Often, my writing is fun — especially when I’m in the flow of a piece and I’m not focusing specifically on the outcome. I don’t “have” to write. I “get” to write! I get the opportunity to tell stories or write about my ideas. It’s a privilege.
Sometimes changing your perspective is all you need to change the way you feel about something. I’m going to try to channel my nine year-old self to help me rediscover the fun of writing. There are a couple of plays that I want to write and I’d like to have fun doing it!