Storytelling: How To Write a Book With Your Children
When I was 21 and interviewing for my first job in the corporate world, I remember reading an inspirational story on the airplane ride to the interview. I highlighted several passages and used them verbatim. The executive interviewing me asked, "How do you know so much at a young age?"
I didn't have a mentor at the time, so books were my mentor. When I was a child, I remember lightbulb moments reading books. This is where I suddenly transformed my thinking about what's possible and learned something new.
What's your story? Chances are you have had both negative and positive experiences in your life. This isn't bad because it actually will change your life.
I work with homeless kids on the street whose parents are struggling so much with poverty or addiction that the kids might never get an inspiring example of love or leadership. They are craving a mentor, someone to look up to for guidance and support. Books can really help these kids. They can mentor and guide them in ways that their parents can't.
When I was seven and my father committed suicide, I would retreat into my own little world of books. The words found in their pages changed my life. They showed me how to bounce back, think differently, and make something of myself.
I left my corporate job years ago to start a new career as a writer. I remember sharing with my first client the story of how books changed my life. Today I give away thousands of books away to the homeless living on the street. I know that sometimes all we need is a positive word in order to encourage change.
This year, I decided to write a children's book about a special homeless friend. It was kind of a surprise to me, because although I've written 30 books, I've never been inspired to write a book for kids! My two boys are helping me, and when it is finished this next fall, it will be a major accomplishment for all of us.
My kids will have their own children's book that they can give away in hospitals, nursing homes, or to homeless kids, adults, and suburban children. It will be sold in bookstores across the world. The message we want to convey with the book is that it doesn't matter who you are, what you look like, or where you live. Everyone is somebody special.
3 Steps to Follow When Writing a Book With Your Children
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Remember every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. List those three elements of your story on paper and build from there.
- Take a trip to the bookstore with the kids. Find a book that will be a model for what you want to create and discuss it with the kids.
- Think about the one thing that has impacted your family or a memory you'd like to write about. It could be a simple cookbook, or a how to book. Ask the kids to help craft the story or draw pictures about the main message.
Start writing down your story today. It could be about your own life experiences or maybe even a challenge you have had. These memories could be from your childhood or maybe something that occured in your family. You will never know when your story will help other people and transform their life.
Make a plan, sit down, and sketch out a story. Your words will not only touch other people but might be a really fun thing to do with your kids. It could change their life along with many others.
How do you encourage your kids to write? How do you make writing fun for your kids?
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
Tammy Kling is a life coach, advocate for the homeless, and international author of books including The Compass. Tammy is also the founder of Write it Out, an organization that helps the homeless transform by journaling goals, hopes & dreams via writers workshops, free journals and books. Tammy loves being a mom to two awesome boys, and is also an avid trail and mountain runner, and corporate writer.
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