I thought I would share briefly how the journey of writing books happened in my daughter’s life as some have been interested in seeing their kids do likewise. I don’t think this is the only way or right way. I was winging it as I responded to her interest. But I hope this short reflection may help.

The summer after Joelle’s 2nd grade started this wonderful journey of guiding her into the art of writing fiction. It started out simply as a daily exercise of her going through “Learning to Write Fictions Through Photos”. We set aside time in the morning to do the exercises from the book each weekday. It was a good book teaching about point of view, dialog, plot, etc. She liked it a lot and so I told her if she write a story I will get it published for her. We did story boards and plot outlines and she wrote and wrote each day and drew accompanying pictures. I typed and corrected spelling and grammar. Then came “An Island and a Chance”, a fantasy book about a runaway girl in a land of Pixies.

To my surprise she wanted to write again the following summer. We went through “Spilling Ink: A young writer’s handbook” by Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer. This was a good follow up to last year’s reading as it gave different perspectives on how to approach writing. This summer Joelle start to do research for her writing as she explored realistic fiction. We also had one of our friends who is a high school English teacher meet with her a few times to help her edit her book. So was birth “Letter’s From Brooklyn”, an immigrant girl adjusting to life in a new country and new school.

This past summer, after Joelle graduated from 4th grade, she did her work on her third book. Again to my surprise she put a lot of daily effort into it. In comparison to her 45 page 2nd grade book with a lot of big pictures, and her 3rd grade book of some 58 pages, this book toppled over 100 pages! She became more descriptive and thoughtful in her writings. We also invited her regular English teacher to look over the book and make some suggestions. So came “Silent Music” into the world. It is about a mute 12 year old who wants to find her voice.

Lot of lessons comes out of the practice of writing. One of the big ones is that it takes discipline, consistent times of doing it to come up with the results. Hard work is more than an isolated activity but a chain of labor produces good work. She understands this not only as a writer but as a musician, sports person and artist.

Through it she has been with me at book signings, tickled by people’s review and has been able to give it as gifts. She learned about how to get it on Amazon and has made decisions on how to be wise and charitable with her modest royalties.

I can foresee we will continue this journey of writing and I hope she enjoys it as much as I get to see her in the process of growing in it.