A Writerly Person

My daughter is a writerly person. Which is to say, she has a facility with words. She can take several completely unrelated ideas and smash them together. She can take one really big idea and bust it up into tiny little pieces.

I love to see her at work. Sometimes organizing a movie script. Sometimes drawing out a comic book. Sometimes just sitting on the floor with her whiteboard and writing until she runs out of room. Then, erase and continue.

Tonight she was drafting her letter to the 4th grade teachers, explaining why, as a rising 4th grader, she would make a kick-ass safety patrol officer. Those are my words. Not hers.

Raising a writerly person is great fun. I get to see her worry over the proper word choice and puzzle over the clarity of this idea or that. She’s on a good track. I expect she will write her books before I do.

I am being careful not to praise her ability too greatly. People often make too much of talent. Fun to see her sit down and write a well-made paragraph easily and with joy. Better to see her save that draft, set it aside until tomorrow, reread, then change a few words. Kill a sentence or three. I encourage the writing but praise the rewriting. Better that she know now what it is taking me a lifetime to figure out. A thing isn’t written until it is completed, and a thing isn’t completed until it is rewritten.

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