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Recently, a student shared a poem he had written with me. I was totally amazed at how beautiful and thoughtful it was. He was involved in a creative writing class, and the poem was an assignment. This made me think about the summer as a time to expand writing skills in a fun way. Teens could see writing as something to enjoy instead of a chore to do for school.
Often, teens get stuck on the first step when trying to write—thinking of something to say. This is true for all writers, not just beginning writers! If your child feels this way, my advice is to encourage her to write about her passions. If she has something she really wants to say, it is much easier to get going. It is also important that she does not feel that her work has to be perfect the first time through. I often write, rewrite, let it sit overnight, and revise again before submitting my work. Six Ways to Start the Writing Process might help her get started.
Creative thoughts often come to us when we are relaxed and not focused on any one thing. It might help your child to get away from electronic devices that interrupt his thinking. Many writers say their ideas come to them while in the shower first thing in the morning when they are well-rested. He could take an afternoon walk in the park or sit outside one night and watch for a shooting star. The trick is to give himself plenty of down time when there is nothing scheduled except relax and enjoy life.
Encourage your children to take some time this summer to explore their writing potential. They might find that they enjoy getting their thoughts down on paper. Your children might find out that they love sharing their passions through writing. This is especially true if there is an easy way to share what they write with the world! Teen Ink is a website devoted to sharing writing, reviews, photos, videos, and art submitted by teens. There are more than 65,000 works published on the site. It is fun to read the work submitted by other teens and to rate their work. Perhaps your child will be inspired to submit work for publication this summer, and she will begin to see herself as a writer with important things to say.