I came across this a couple of days ago…


Joey's first alphabet 2011


It was written by my elder son, Joey. It was his first try at writing the alphabet.

Joey was four at the time. I was sitting nearby at the table, as he wrote it. And what I remember was the excitement that radiated from him as he worked at the task. It was a tricky but exhilarating journey, into a mysterious place he’d never been to before.

Remembering the mood it put him in, I’m left feeling that, when encouraging beginner writers, we should do everything possible to feed (and keep alive) the sense of excitement and adventure which comes from setting out on the journey into writing.

I may be a few years further down the line than Joey, but I’m still on that same writing journey myself.

And that sets me thinking us older writers, too, should do everything we can to keep alive the feeling of excitement and adventure…as (like Joey) we take our tricky routes into mysterious places we’ve never been to before.




  1. Steve Tasane says:

    Too true. I remember – inadvertently – bringing a pupil to tears by suggesting how she could improve her poem. She hadn’t wanted improvement, but encouragement and praise. It was a lesson well-learnt (for me). And even we adult writers still want to give our books to people and receive unadulterated encouragement – we ask for criticism from our editors (or very, very, very trusted friends.)

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