Monday, March 6, 2023

Idea waterfall

Day 6 of 31 at TWT!
"... because it's March and I have to..."

"Write a story every day?!" Sweetie interrupts me, jumping up and down.

"That's right!" Did she remember from last year? I don't think I've mentioned it much yet this year!

"But, how do you think of something to write about EVERY DAY???? I can nehhhhhver think of anything to write about!" she moans. 

"I look for writing ideas all day! Like, at first, I was going to write about baking 'nana bread, but then the ice cream truck came! So now I get to save the 'nana bread story for another day, and I'm already ahead on ideas!" I grin. We're only 5 days into March, and I already had so many days with multiple possible slices that I probably have enough writing ideas to get me through the next week! 

My writing brain feels like that waterfall we visited on Saturday; story ideas are just spilling over, churning and tumbling over each other as they flood over the normal riverbanks. How have I gone a whole year without writing? I have so many stories to capture! Unbidden, a list starts flowing through my brain: when I took my students outside, and when that kid from Ukraine surprised me, and when I introduced the Girl Scouts to the bearded dragon, and...

"How could you write a WHOLE STORY about 'nana bread?" she wrinkles her nose. "It took like two seconds!"

"I slow it down with lots of small details, like Rainbow Girl looking for the ingredients."

"Mrs. C is always wanting us to add details," she grumbles. 

"Details make your story come alive!" I nod. "I also add dialogue. Do you know what dialogue is?"

She shakes her head. 

"Dialogue is when you make the people in the story talk to each other. A small story idea is actually the best, because it gives me room to add so many little details and moments of dialogue that give my readers a movie in their minds!"

"Oh, I like to add that in my pictures!" She brightens for a second, then complains, "but Mrs. C. says we shouldn't draw so many pictures anymore."

"Well, you're learning so much about writing that now you can start to give your readers pictures with your words! So instead of putting your dialogue into the pictures, you can add it in with your words, and you can add other details to, to help your readers see the pictures in their minds! When I write my story about making 'nana bread, I'll show you how I slow that moment down and turn it into a mind movie for my readers! I can show you some of my other stories too!" 

It makes me sad that she doesn't yet love writing like I do, but I hope I can help her love it more by showing her what a part of my life it is. She's already gotten more interested than she was last year, sometimes writing in the various journals she's gotten, so I want to capture this momentum. If I let my idea waterfall flow over her, maybe she'll soon have one of her own!


  1. Idea waterfall. I love that. I've been having my own waterfall this last week. I've been keeping a list in my notebook so I don't forget what I've thought of!

  2. Oh, Jennifer, that is beautiful! You have taken a small moment and added details and dialogue to make a whole story. You are a role model of writing for Sweetie and others in our group. I'm glad you have such a long list!

  3. You're sparking her mind and showcasing the joy you get from writing. Sweetie will get there too... in her own time.


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