Creative writing can boost children and young people’s well-being and help them feel connected to the world.
That’s what the children who do enjoy writing say about it.
Children and young people often write song lyrics, diary entries, reviews, stories and poems, and many now write digitally rather than by hand. They also write for social connection purposes such as text messaging or communicating within games.
I recently came across an example of what a creative mind can achieve.
A furniture maker began to wonder one day if there was an alternative to chopping down wood to make furniture. He thought, what if we could make furniture from the living tree?
It’s the magical ‘what if’, the simple phrase that can lead to so much. I often encourage children to think like this when creating their stories. It leads to bigger, better, more established ideas.
So, what did this guy do? He created a furniture farm, of course!
He moulds the trees and shapes them so that as they grow, they take on the shape of a piece of furniture such as a chair or a table. Once the tree has matured, the furniture is ‘harvested’ and it then must spend a few years seasoning before it can be used.
This concept blew me away with its uniqueness. And I’m sure many would have laughed at the idea. But it works, and this is because a creative mind dared to question the norm.
Creating writing can challenge children to think in a different way. It allows them to explore where their imaginations could take them when given the opportunity to write freely and without constraint.
We need creative thinkers for future innovations and we can’t underestimate the importance of encouraging this way of thinking in our children.
The creative writing groups at Storymakers are small, non-judgemental, relaxed and fun. My aim has always been to help children see that writing can be an enjoyable and worthwhile process. I’ve even helped some become published authors!
Is writing a dying art?
I hope not because reading isn’t and we need people to write those stories, don’t we? We also need creative people to come up with ideas and solutions for the future. Encouraging children to think creatively through their writing, is one way of doing that.
It would be a sorry world if the only form of communication in the future is through texts and gaming. Yet technology is everywhere and we can’t ignore that it’s in our lives. Children learn by example, so it’s up to us as adults to show them that it’s possible to have that balance.
The more we encourage children to write creatively, the more likely they are to enjoy it. In the meantime, I will keep on flying the flag for the importance of creative writing and offering my groups so that children can come along and give it a go.