So I wrote a children’s story yesterday.
Pfft, you think you’re surprised.
I really don’t know how children’s stories did not appear on my priorities list. I really don’t. It seems so logical now that I think about it. I like small projects. I like rhyming. And I actually rather like children’s poetry and picture books. I don’t read them when I’m by myself or anything, but when I have the opportunity to read to children I can’t say I don’t enjoy it. Though, saying that, I did read Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson by myself today and laughed out loud.
It definitely stems from childhood. My mum is normally an introvert but has always been big on audience inclusion. She has turned me into a person with absolutely no inhibitions at pantomimes. I, “He’s behind you!” and, “Oh, yes she did!” with the best of them when all the grown adults around me seem to be wildly out of their comfort zones.
She is also a huge fan of reading children’s books aloud. It even happened today when I brought a draft of my story downstairs for her to look at. I didn’t even ask her to do it. I think she’s actually suffering from withdrawal because my brother’s growing out of it and she’s basically waiting on me to procreate a fresh audience for her.
It’s true that parents need to read to their children. My mum loves to be dramatic and expressive and animated when she reads. She always made childhood reading interesting and fun, and now in adulthood I read aloud with the same enthusiasm. They say narrative voice is important when an author writes a story. Well when I wrote yesterday, that’s what I heard: my mum’s storytelling voice.
So many people are bashful about it. They mumble and talk in a monotone and get all self-conscious. Don’t. Be like my mum and me and learn to just laugh at yourself a bit. Because if you do it right – really drop your inhibitions and go for it – you can fuel an interest in the written word for the rest of your children’s lives.