If you love writing or love reading and you want to inspire a young writer to sit down with pen and paper (or more likely at the keyboard of a computer) and encourage them to express herself or himself in words, here are some tips along those lines:
- Be there for them. We can’t encourage our young writers if we don’t engage with them. Talk up reading and writing. Make sure your young writer knows that there is no right or wrong with the words they put down on paper. Their words are unique to them, and they should know that every word that goes down on a piece of paper is a part of his or her legacy. Show that you are interested and that will spur their confidence.
- Give them the tools. Make sure your young writer has a safe place to express herself or himself. A journal is a great idea. A computer that they have access to both at home and at school is important in this day and age. Make sure they are given the time, space, and freedom to put their words down and make sure they respect that time.
- Make yourself available to read what they’ve written and do so with an open mind. It is the act of putting words to paper that is more important than correct grammar, spelling, or word usage. Yes, those are important, but writing can be a messy business, and we don’t want our young writers to be stifled by too much formality.
- Yes, share what you’ve written with your young writers. Show them the beauty of sharing. Make sure they understand that sharing is a gift. Make sure they don’t have undue expectations for how someone else will respond to their gift. Sharing is a spooky thing when it comes to our words, but it is also a beautiful, power thing as well.
- Encourage them with the challenge of writing. Young writers have to know that writing doesn’t always come easy, even for the best writers, even for bestselling writers. You can’t wait for inspiration. Sometimes you have to force creativity, and every young writer needs to know this. Just put down one sentence. Then put down another. If you love to write, the sentences will continue to come, and your young writer will be proud when they do.
Publish. In this day and age, it is so easy for your young writer to put his or her writings into book form. Help them. You can do it at home or you can do it online. When they see the product of their efforts in print, they will be inspired to write again and again.