how to raise a writer: UPDATED

"The castle-building habit, the day-dreaming habit–how it grows! what a luxury it becomes…how soon and…easily our dream-life and our material life become…so fused together that we can't quite tell which is which, anymore." ~ Mark Twain

First, issue the disclaimer: you can’t really set out to raise a writer. The real question is what goes into the creation of a fiction writer? I will say I’ve noticed that my writer friends roughly fall into two categories: offspring of writerly parents in a relatively healthy atmosphere and those of us who grew up in dysfunction central, people without a voice who took refuge in books, inspired to try it ourselves.

If you hover, if you monitor every movement of your child, chances are the only book they’ll write is the one you don’t want them to. Writers, well, we like to be left alone. To daydream, to scribble, to figure things out and finally, to write. My advice on child rearing – teach them to work hard, but let them find their own passions. There are some areas where it’s better if you feel called and the creative arts are among them. It’s hard. It’s not “Deadliest Catch” hard or brain surgery hard – no one will die if you write a bad book – but there’s typically a lot of rejection and it’s not something you ever have down. Every novel is a new experience. But therein is the joy.

What was your journey in becoming a writer? Was your home supportive or not so much?

UPDATE: some of what I’ve been blogging about in terms of 12 things happy people do. Good advice for writers!

One response to “how to raise a writer: UPDATED”

  1. “Dysfunction Central” was the compost in which I grew! I have come to the notion that I am a writer rather late, and began with creative nonfiction. I’ve become convinced that there are truths I can only tell via the medium of fiction, and am trying, trying, trying . . .l

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