Tip 1: Encourage journaling!
We are living through unprecedented times right now, and journaling would be a good way for kids to practice mindfulness, process their feelings, communicate their ideas, and build writing skills and habits.
Tip 2: Read their work and offer genuine, encouraging feedback.
While you may be completely honest when you say, “It was great!”, it doesn’t help the young writer develop their talent and can come off as fake. Something simple but specific like, “Your dialogue was so funny,” or “Your world was so interesting,” can go a long way in encouraging a writer.
Tip 3: Remind them that writing is real work.
I mean this in two equally important ways:
- Writing is HARD.
It takes time, practice, and effort. If they’re struggling, show them support in a way that’s helpful for them on an individual level — words of encouragement, helping them brainstorm or just talk out their story issues, a nice new notebook or craft book, a trip to the library or bookstore for them to “refill the creative well”, or help them set up an area that they can claim as their special writing spot. Anything that shows that you’re there and you believe in them.
- You can make a living off of writing.
While it’s fine to be realistic and encourage a backup plan or solid day job, let your child know there are many different ways to make money off of writing, such as copywriting, journalism, technical writing, editing, public relations, marketing, etc. in addition to creative writing. They don’t have to choose just one!
More tips on how to encourage young writers:
Writing Prompts and Resources: