Sunday, October 15, 2006

Using Writing As A Form of Communication With Your Own Children

Recently I have read over on a thread at AW of many teenagers and adults who were kind of put off because their parents do not take their writing endeavors seriously. I have been seeing a great deal of such complaints lately, where spouses, SO's or lovers as well as parents don't seem to take your writing as serious as you want them to.  ( One such thread can be found here.)

I am real lousy at verbal communication. Real lousy. Sometimes I wonder how the hell I get any idea across. I am also very shy when I am around people I do not know and meeting them for the first time. But with my kids I am not shy, but often I do fail to communicate what it is I am trying to say. Recently with my older children, some married and some not, I have found a way to communicate which seems to work and has had pleasant results.

Until a few months ago, I would not even under pain of torture ever let anyone in my family come close to what I wrote. That was a law with me. It of course has to do with extremely bad experiences in the past, when some who expressed love for me did everything they could to heap disdain and disgust upon my writing. And it worked. For many years, despite having just had published two children's books and some very well accepted articles, I stayed away from writing, using my own secret times to write out of vision from anyone else.

However, over these past couple of years, it was impossible to hide that I was writing again, simply because my work was being published and discussed. My children are Internet savvy, and when one of the older ones for fun did a Google on my name I was immediately called and asked why I never told them that my short stories were published etc. etc.

And so, I came out of the closet and let two of them read a couple of short stories that were published on the net, (but which they would normally have to pay for). I did this with no small amount of fear and trepidation. I waited impatiently for them to tell me that my writing sucks. What happened, which was an incredible surprise to me, is that my writing opened a whole new avenue of communication with these kids. Suddenly they were saying things like, "now I understand a lot better just where you are coming from" and "I can hear you speaking the words in your stories" or just plain "Wow I really loved that story"

I learned a lesson. There are those that profess love for you and even do love you, but they will always find it impossible to remove their own egos from what you do. They will love you, but deride anything you do that they cannot do. Then there are your children. Who will love you and understand you. They will read it cause you are a parent, but they will also learn a great deal more about their parent while reading you.

And if you are a parent or a spouse or SO of an author, take the time to be interested. After all this is the person you love and share with. Writing is part of who they are. Try to become part of who they are by reading and helping with their writing.

If you can try it. You might just be surprised at the avenue of communication it opens up - even when you fear the derision. You may just begin to understand each other that much better. You may not become a famous author but you may accomplish something just as important. You may find the road to communication between you and your children is now a wonderful open line of sharing and respect.

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Categories: short stories, writing, on writing series
Getting Wasted - Writing & Editing & Publishing Short Stories

Edited With Qumana

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