We need our mothers
According to Patricia Schneider, author of Writing Alone and with Others, we can nurture writers by offering “intimate support.”
Genius often emerges where there is intimate support for it. Shakespeare worked in the intimate, supportive community of a strong theater that wanted his next play. Dickinson worked within the intimate community of a family that loved her and protected her time and privacy. Neither of them was seen by their contemporaries as being greatly gifted. It seems truly important that there be a community of support around the artist that protects the making of art.
If we see that genius needs intimate support to thrive, how much more do our children’s ordinary attempts at writing need it, especially those that aren’t necessarily destined for greatness? Our families can be the places where our kids test their voices and find intimate support to nourish their tentative attempts at written self-expression.