Storytelling: How To Write a Book With Your Kids and Capture Family Memories
Our family took in a homeless dog and named him Batman. We acquired him from the street and although he's grown up in our home for over a year now, he still acts homeless. He likes to jump on the counters, ravage for food, and create a disaster wherever he goes. Nothing can stop or change Batman. My kids and I decided to write a book about Batman and tell about his funny behaviors.
Every family has a story. Some stories are funny, others are heartwarming, and some family stories are educational. There are mothers who write about autism or about adoption. I have seen celebrities write books about cooking, parenting, acting, or what it's like in live in Hollywood. Katy Perry could write a book about what it was like being a small town Christian girl who exploded on the music scene as one of the biggest stars in the world. Nothing in our life is ever clean and simple. Whatever you've been through, it is a story that could possibly help someone else.
How To Write a Book With Your Kids
Here are some ideas to get your stories down on paper and involve the whole family.
Get Your Kids Involved in the Process
Think about writing about your family, a summer vacation experience, their grandparents, or even a how to book that teaches other kids how to do something.
Do a Little Bit at a Time
It's hard to have the patience to write an essay or a book. Writing is a skill that kids can use for a lifetime and some people, like me, make a living off of it. Start writing down your story. Do this in little sound bites. Then it will not be as overwhelming.
Make a List
Write down three of your best ideas. Talk it over with your kids and choose one of your ideas. Brainstorm with your kids about your topic and everyone contribute.
Have a Beginning, Middle, and End
Every story has a beginning, middle, and end. Start at the beginning. This book is about _____. Fill in the blank and go from there!. This can be your beginning chapter. The middle of the book is the meat of your story. Tell about your experiences with the subject and don't stop writing. Just let it flow. Think about ways your story can help someone. Kids can come up with fresh ideas and concepts. Don't overlook their contribution or perception of the story.
Involve the kids in illustrating drawings that go with you subject. This could be a fun way to bond with your kids around the dinner table. Take out the book for two weeks at dinner time and work on it together.
You don't have to be a writer to teach your kids how to advance their writing skills. If you decide to publish your book, the possibilities are endless!
My kids have been with me on book signings, have watched me work the room, hand out books, and video tape events. They have traveled with me to the London book fair and have seen my books in bookstores all over the world. It's fine if you decide not to go that route. Remember that your book is about the story and the message you are trying to get across to your reader. Stories bring people together.
If you decide to print your book, submit it to Shutterfly, Apple, Snapfish, or your nearest printer! The final product will be something your kids will share with family and friends for a lifetime. It will be something they will be proud of because you did it together.
How do you get your kids involved in writing? How do you capture your family's stories and memories?
Image via flickr.
Tammy Kling is a life coach, crisis management expert, and advocate for the homeless. She is an international author of 37 books including The Compass. Tammy is also the founder of The Homeless Writers Project, an organization that helps those living on the street write out their hopes and dreams via writers workshops, free journals, and other resources. In addition to writing and coaching, Tammy is a mom of two boys, an avid trail and mountain runner, blogger, and adventure travel writer.
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