Friday, April 26, 2013

I gave a writing presentation to third graders and they liked it

Because I'm a novelist I was invited to speak at my neighborhood's school on writing day. I addressed all the third graders. There were about 70 of them, including my son. I was a little intimidated. Kids can be a tough audience. You can lose them to total squealing pandemonium in a heartbeat. Luckily I had three teachers working the perimeter to maintain containment.

But the kids were good and only slipped into gleeful chaos a few times. Happily a good portion of them appeared interested in what I had to say about writing.

One boy in particular appeared utterly enraptured by what I had to say. I kept looking back to him during my presentation. His focus never wavered. He was hanging on my every word. Trust me, when a child is paying attention it is shockingly apparent. To be honest he looked like I was blowing his mind, but in a good way. He was hearing information that delighted him.

He reminded me of how excited I was about writing when I was that young. I've always loved writing. Learning it was a pleasure and words have been my toys ever since. Although that particular young man was likely the most excited, I saw a dozen or so other boys and girls lit up with enthusiasm for the topic. They were genuinely interested in developing their writing skills. They loved stories and found joy in both their creation and consumption.

Despite all the setbacks and challenges of developing my writing career, my youthful excitement about writing has not faded a bit. I realized this during my presentation. It was good to be reminded that writing is my calling. I've always wanted to spend my life doing it.