When kids write, one of two things tends to happen: either they jump into it without thinking, finding immediate joy in expression–or they poke and prod at the idea, scared to commit, worried that they'll make a mistake.
Half of our job at Written Out Loud is to help this latter group find their courage.
Courage is like a blue sky–it's always there, underneath our cloudy, murky insecurities, and can be accessed at any time if given the right mentality and training. So maybe it's not about finding courage, but rather uncovering it.
But how do we do this?
In our experience, the best way to banish our fear of expression is to get our kids talking about their favorite stories. By doing this, we're starting from a place of familiarity and love. Sometimes this is all they need–in their excitement, they come up with a million new ideas that have to do with Harry Potter, or Percy Jackson, or any of thousands of stories that captivate our minds. Soon enough, these ideas blossom into original stories, and we're off to the races.
Bravery involves conquering fear, directly confronting it and moving past it; but the sneakier method, the one that feels effortless, involves forgetting what we were afraid of in the first place.