Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

10/5/10

Nurturing the young writer/illustrator


In this class picture I sit next to the teacher. My best friend/writing partner, Leslie, is directly behind me in the top row. Everyday after school we wrote stories together. Our creations ran parallel themes. I particularly recall chapter books along the theme of the TV show Lost. Leslie wrote about a group of kids stranded on a deserted island. My characters wandered in the woods. At the end of each session we read aloud to one another and had new inspiration for the following day.

After a cleaning binge, my mother passed off a box of my creative writing from junior high. Schlock! Among these gems were also mimeographed sheets describing different writing genre (many on various forms of poetry), as well as peer critiques. I was clearly given tools and support, but needed more compelling writing prompts.

My mother did not keep my old artwork—small house, four kids—can’t blame her. I have one child and resolved I would preserve her writing and artwork. I began making books of Kate's work in her early years. Before she could write I had her dictate descriptions and stories associated with her artwork. This prompted Kate to draw, paint and write more and more. Encouragement matters! Pictured is my budding author/illustrator and her works at ages 3, 5 and 8.



8 comments:

Lauren said...

You are definitely nurturing a budding author/illustrator in your family. Whatever Kate decides to do you have given her the gift of being seen and encouraged. And don't write off your junior high creative writing to quickly-- things do change and you might one day need that voice for one of your characters-- who knows?
Reading about how you and Leslie would write together after school, then read them aloud inspired me to imagine doing just that with a friend-- get together everyday for coffee and writing together for an hour, then reading it aloud. Hmmm... now if I could only find that friend! Wish you were not so far away?!

Christy said...

Lauren, I need you! Wish you could come over now and give me feedback on a current project. I was lucky for that early creative friendship. It does matter been seen and encouraged.

Edie said...

Christy,
How great to have had a writing partner in 6th grade! I'd be a partner to either you or Lauren if I lived closer. And it looks as if Kate is off to a wonderful creative start.

john said...

Christy, I loved this post and seeing how your are nurturing yourself in the way you are nurturing your daughter. And I didn't realize she had such a fun last name. Greek?

Christy said...

Too bad we all don't live closer.

John, yes, Kate is 1/8 Greek, though her name is 100% Greek.

Mark said...

Christy, I love the old school picture, and the story of how you are encouraging your daughter's creativity, and preserving the results. "Creative friendships" are valuable to all of us, I believe.

David LaRochelle said...

That school photo is wonderful. It brought me right back to my elementary school days. It's clear you had the drive to be an author early on. I agree with others' comments about how your daughter is lucky to have your encouragement.

Diane Adams said...

I, too, love that you're nurturing your daughter, and of course, that you're following a path that you were obviously meant to follow.