Because I try to translate my everyday life into humorous situations for my books' characters or at least learn a lesson or two from my journey into total incapacity, it was inevitable I'd find reasons why playing with a child can teach us a lot about writing a book.
1. Children are spontaneous. They don't need to think about whether or not they want to go for a ride, eat a popsicle, or run through the sprinkler. They're in a constant state of "Let's do it, let's go, I don't care if I just had four hot dogs and a piece of cake topped with ice cream, I'll choke down that popsicle even if it means Mom has to clean up the vomit." The same should be said of writers (most of us will avoid the vomit part). We should never be afraid to try something new, whether it be as sweeping as writing in a genre we've avoided or as minor as moving our desk to another corner of our office. We write about life and change is a part of life.
|Here I am cleaning up some of the|
paperwork around my desk. Wait.
That's not me. It's a guinea pig. Well,
he still makes a mighty fine mess.
4. Finally, children love to be entertained. I suspect that one of the reasons most writers write is because they too enjoy the distraction from everyday life that reading (and yes, writing) affords us. I know that's true of me. Watch a child's face light up when he or she is amused or engrossed in something that interests them. If we can do that for others when we write, we'll have won the battle.
And if you run across my cable bill, let me know.