Learning to Write is Simple

The Ghost of Public School Past will make you think that writing is difficult. You will believe that structure and format are more important than the quirky, insightful, sometimes funny, sometimes obscure, writing voice of your child. You may think “I’ve used Brave Writer for years but now it’s time to get serious about writing.”

If you find yourself using the word “serious” with regard to any school subject, raise a red flag inside yourself.

You have just admitted that you’re preparing to make your child miserable. You will be in full justification mode, so you’ll eviscerate the character of your child as lazy or not dedicated or behind. You will look for a method that reassures you rather than a method that sparks your child’s natural motivation.

Learning to write is simple. It is the ability to transcribe your thoughts as you think them. It comes with practice the same way learning to speak comes with babbling. It allows for lots of wasted words on paper and on the screen that do not rise to the level of your expectations. Just like your 12 month old or your 2 year old or even your 5 year old who misuses words in abundance and becomes more fluent in speech every day.

Writing works the same way. Write together, freely, regularly (a few times a month, for 5-15 minutes). See what happens!

You use the essay format for about eight years of your life. You do not need to dedicate the first eight school years of childhood preparing for the essay. I can teach you how to write an essay on the back of a napkin. What I can’t teach you is the confidence to express your true thoughts on a page. That comes from practice—the kind of writing that allows free self-expression on a regular basis.

Please give your kids a chance to enjoy self-expression in writing. This is not the time to get serious. It’s the time to learn to write. Don’t ruin your chance to grow a writer by getting serious about writing.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

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