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BLOG Update: The Love of Letters for Little Ones

Today I spent the afternoon teaching a creative writing workshop at an urban writing and literacy non-profit called 826Chi.

826chiIt was especially fantastic because my pupils were all under the age of 9 and were all wildly creative and silly. We spent hours playing around with our imaginations and returning to the basic tenet of creativity that anything goes. We wrote about cows on treadmills and islands made of chocolate and bananas.

As I gear up to begin the edits and re-writes for book number two, I’ve been thinking a lot about the creative process. What works, what doesn’t. It’s different for everyone and there really is absolutely no right answer. But, as is the case with anything about which you care deeply and passionately, it can get a little bit overwhelming. Staring at a big pile of papers and jumbled thoughts that somehow need to come together and form a completed book, that has me feeling a little daunted. Excited, absolutely. But also a little daunted.

So today was actually perfectly timed.

Seeing the kids squeal in un-self-conscious delight as they unraveled their stories and splashed their white pages with the colors of the rainbow, it only reaffirmed to me that there are very few things as fun and fulfilling as the magic of creating. We sat in one room, around one little table, and yet, with nothing more than papers and pencils and our minds and our words, we traveled around the world, to outer space on a comet, and inside the belly of a cheetah.

Did they learn anything today? I hope so. I think so. Did I learn anything today? Absolutely. I learned that the mind and the imagination want to be bold and boundless and brave, and that we, as adults, need to allow it to stay that way.

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Allison Pataki
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