1. intently
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    intently New Member

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    Getting my daughter interested in writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by intently, Sep 8, 2008.

    Hi all, first time here.

    I'm an avid (if unaccomplished) short-story writer, and I'd really enjoy introducing my 13-year-old daughter to the joys of writing. Unfortunately, she just doesn't seem interested. She loves to read, and she loves to tell stories, but she just isn't motivated to write any of them down.

    I don't get it. Anyone have any ideas for how to encourage her or motivate her?
     
  2. Last1Left
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    Last1Left Active Member

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    I was about her age when I first go interested in writing. I think it really started with discussions with my dad about things like politics, history, and what-ifs. The what-ifs were the biggest part, and we used to speculate how things would have turned out if this and this didn't happen. Also, we would talk about how we thought certain book series would end, another form of what-ifs. Basically, all those what-ifs finally made me want to write down my ideas and put them in story form.
     
  3. ABMiller86
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    ABMiller86 Member

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    I have to admit that is a tough one, usually people that like to read and tell stories are pretty much writers who havent started yet.

    I have suggested this in the past and i do believe it to be true... Finding Forester, great movie. Every time i watch it i am inspired to write, maybe it will work for you.
     
  4. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    I'm your daughters age and I had no interest whatsover to right when I was young. I didn't see the point, I didn't see why spend the time, and on and on. I really enjoyed reading, telling stories, and talking. My views entirely changed when I started writing a diary at 12 when I realized that so much of my life has passed and all I have is memories and pictures. I want something I could look back at when I was older and read... Soon, I realized that writing was just like talking (I love talking) to someone else. Communicating to someone else. I realized it was another way to be creative & use my big imagination(things I really enjoy doing). I'm 13 now and love writing. It's one of my favorite things to do. This is how I got motivated to start.

    I also realized that I had no interest writing at first because I saw no reason to. The biggest thing (I think) is finding a reason. Whether it's just for fun, to learn, or to whatever... reasons are why someone writes.
     
  5. ChevyGurl
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    ChevyGurl Member

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    You cant force her into something thats not there. I started poems around 10 and I knew it was the one hobby that would stick. If she doesn't enjoy writing, nothing will change that unless she doesn't like it for some reason like grammar. I know that frustrated me when I was younger. The things that got me writing were horrible happens and suicide thoughts. You can try telling her to write down her problems, vent in a journal...whatever. Just don't invade her privacy or push her to share her stuff if she does start to write. It has to be up to her though and maybe once she starts writing blurbs down, she will realize how much writing helps and how satisfying it is.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    As time goes on, she'll have more and more writing assignments at school. As was said, you can't force her to be writer, but if it's in her to be a writer, encourage her as much as you can with her school work and maybe she'll see how much she enjoys it. Buy her a journal, too.
     
  7. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just because someone likes telling stories and readin does not mean they will enjoy writing. There are many areas connected to writing that do not necessarily lead to enjoying writing. Your best hope is to let her come to the decision on her own. What are your reasons for wanting her to write?
     
  8. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing is "work". Telling stories is fun. Don't turn her "fun" into "work" as it may discourage her creativity. Instead, I would encourage her "story telling". For example, you might encourage her to become a story teller for younger children, perhaps at parties. You might host a story-telling theme party for her and her friends - similar to the acting game played by drama students where each person take a turn adding their take on an impromptu play.

    Point is, stimulate her creativity and wait patiently until she takes the initiative to record her ideas in a permanent medium (voice, video or written).
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing isn't for everyone. It takes a lot of passion to commit to all the hard work.

    I'd suggest that you keep reading to her, but be patient. If you push her to write, it may have the opposite effect from what you want.
     
  10. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    Adding to what Cogito said, perhaps the best way to "encourage" her is by quiet example; write yourself, and openly, and have conversations with her - grownup-level conversations - about your work and the struggle and joy you find in it. The important thing is not to evangelize at this point; just talk about your writing and how you feel about it, just as a father might talk sports with his son.

    If she decides she'd like to try it herself, you can support her then. But trying to nudge and hint and tempt and push her into it is just as likely to do nothing but drive her away.
     
  11. stoned4assassin20
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    stoned4assassin20 Member

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    If she wants to write, she'll write. I can imagine that pushing her to write would diminish any joy that she might derive from it. The activities that are the most pleasurable are those that are started entirely independently and without external reward.

    I wouldn't push her to write. It would be much more rewarding for her if she were intrinsically motivated to write.
     
  12. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    If she likes to tell stories, I wonder if she'd enjoy recording them. You could get her a little voice recorder to preserve her stories. I'd focus on the thing she enjoys doing, and then if she does get into writing later, it might be fun for her to listen back on the stories she came up with when she was younger.
     
  13. Fading-Dream
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    Fading-Dream New Member

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    I'm not entirely sure how I came about writing. I'm a bit older than your daughter, but started writing when I was around 9. Something about a Blue Scaled Dragon story. <.<; It just kind of happened for me. I don't think I ever kept a diary or journal, although I find they can be helpful and inspiring at times. What REALLY got me into writing was the creative freedom of Role Playing. I was around 11-12 when I started Role Playing. It was interacting with other people, telling an open ended story, all through writing. That really broadened my whole perspective on writing. I started with posts that had no structure and grammar and ended up with great results simply because I WANTED to.

    Like its been said, if she wants to write she will. Nothing is stopping her if she has pencil and paper or a computer to work with. Stories are inspiring, though. Books I read made me want to share stories on paper like that. That everyone could read and enjoy.
     
  14. Ladder Writer
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    Ladder Writer New Member

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    I agree with those who say don't push it. I think it is great that she loves reading so much and telling stories, both are things a lot of teenagers quickly brush of as uninteresting and uncool.

    I like marina's idea of recording stories, this would be a good solution if you feel like she is telling great stories that are going to waste. You could then write it down yourself from that (not in secret from her, of course). Then let her read it. She may not realise how good her stories are, and from that be encouraged to write more down.
     
  15. CobaltLion
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    CobaltLion Member

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    It's good that you want to foster her interest in writing, and given what you've said I think that she may begin some time. It will, however be her own decision. Writing is an art and like any art the desire to do it has to come from herself. Nobody can make the decision for her.

    You can, however support her, encourage her to read and encourage her to keep with telling her stories. Best of luck to both of you. :)
     
  16. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    Intently, if your daughter doesn't want to write, maybe its best just to let her be for awhile and see if she ever develops an interest. Pushing her into it may just frustrate her and make her decide more strongly against it. I think writing is one of those things people should do because they enjoy it.

    That being said, if you've really set your heart on seeing her write, you might try taking her to a book store and letting her choose some great books for herself. Discovering a love of reading could stir up the inspiration in her to try writing down her own ideas.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry to say, if she doesn't have the passion to write within herself, nothing you can do will create it... and i'm speaking as a mom of 7, who's been a passionately committed professional writer for decades, with none of my kids following in my footsteps, or even coming close to wanting to be writers...

    and none even having shown an interest that i noticed [other than my sole son's stab at writing a story at 7], even though i started buying books for them before they were born, provided them with a family library of over 2,000 volumes [not counting all of theirs!] and am now sending books to their own children...

    wish it were otherwise for both your and my sake, but them's the facts of life, sweetiepie...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  18. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    Like some people mentioned, writing isn't for everyone. I'd just encourage her to try it, but not force her. If she has any interest, she'll try it.
     
  19. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    But don't encourage too much. It was annoying when my parents got on my back repeatedly for something I had no interest in.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you want to pique her interest, give the impression you really DON'T want her to pick up writing...
     
  21. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I'd get her a journal.
     
  22. BillyxRansom
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    BillyxRansom Active Member

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    Said perfectly, methinks.
     
  23. JonRhodesUK
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    JonRhodesUK New Member

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    It's hard with children, or indeed anyone. You cannot make anyone WANT to do anything. You can make them do something, but they will do it without real interest or passion, which is a waste of time. The best way to encourage her to write is to help her find things that she is interested in. With my daughter I encouraged her to start up a blog about her pet cat. I gave her the idea of writing as if she was the cat, talking about what she has been doing, and her thoughts and feeling etc.

    Ultimately you must let her decide what she wants to do, but there is nothing wrong with some gentle encouragement!
     

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