My daughter, Rose, has shown a high interest in writing and illustrating her own books, and she’s only seven years old.
I remember I was just like her when I was little. As soon as I learned to write, and read my first story in front of my class, I was HOOKED. I knew exactly what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a writer and illustrate my own books. So what happened? I was gung ho all through childhood, and my writing was highly encouraged by my teachers and my peers (in Canada). However, when I moved to the States, nobody knew me. Nobody knew that I’d been writing ever since the first grade. But when I started drawing in art class, it was extremely obvious to people that I had a talent in art, and that became what people focused on in my new life in the States. It wasn’t until I bought a blank book from the bookstore and started writing my autobiography during recess time that people started to notice my writing passion in the 8th Grade. But still, writing isn’t as cool as being good at art, so my passion for writing remained something mostly I knew about, along with a select few of my friends. Hence my decision to pursue art as my career choice rather than writing. I decided to sneak into the back door of the professional writing world by entering through it with my art (creating illustrated children’s books first, perhaps). In a way, that is what seems to be happening, but not exactly the way I planned.
So on to my daughter! I feel like I want to take what I learned from my own life and pass that knowledge on to her. I learned that sharing my work to others was what excited me. It isn’t enough to simply write the words. A writer isn’t much without readers, just as an actor or musician isn’t much without an audience. So I joyfully created a blog for Rose on which she can see her work up in front of the world for everyone to see and read. Getting comments on her blog is so exciting to share with her. She’s learning so much so early. I certainly didn’t have the internet to use as a resource when I was little. I’m happy to introduce it to her in a supportive way, so she can see how the internet can be used as a support tool.
I’ve created a few different pages for her. The latest is this one, created for her and her friend Jamie: GirlTeenagerBooks.wordpress.com
Rose also created her own little writing desk area in her room. SO cute!
I am thrilled to see that her teacher at Sunview Elementary School is extremely encouraging, just as I remember my own elementary school teachers when I was little. This just delights me! BIG thanks to her teacher, Mrs.Johnson!
I’m looking forward to teaching her to feel empowered and not rely solely on traditional publishing as the ultimate way to go. I guess I focus so much on that because I think that’s what killed my own confidence about getting published as a young person. I knew I wasn’t the best author – I was just a kid – but there was no other way I knew to get my work out there.
Independent publishing can be just as lucrative, and in some cases, more lucrative! Besides, we writers don’t write for the money. We write because we love to write. Just the way any creative person does what they do – Artists love to express themselves creatively. Actors love the thrill of performing in front of an audience. Musicians have passion for the audio art they create. We are all artists and we do what we do because WE LOVE TO DO IT.
Edvard Munch said, “Art is your heart’s blood.”
SO true. Creative expression is something we just have to do.
And I am so happy to be sharing all this with my daughter. I’m looking forward to journeying with her through this artistic path, and even learning a few new things myself as I watch what happens with her own new journey.