Have you ever watched children play outside? They explore every small rock, dig with their fingers through grass and dirt, run without a worry about time or purpose or direction.
Have you ever listened to children talk? They tell stories in animated tones, ask questions with wonder and curiosity, offer up fresh descriptions and details no adult would notice.
Writing from a child’s perspective pushes you to view the world differently and allows you to write freely—without doubt, without self-editing along the way. Although we have all been children earlier in our lives, it’s often difficult to capture that mindset again. Here’s how to tap into your inner child:
Abandon the need to self-edit as you write. Resist hitting the backspace key. Let your inner child tell the story without interference from your adult judgments.
Play with your words. Make up new words, or use old ones in unique ways. Get creative with punctuation. Use humor—don’t be afraid to be silly.
Write with honesty. Yes, children learn to tell lies, but they are often brutally honest. They see a person or situation and speak without a filter. They are opinionated and ask questions.
Nurture an innocent spirit. Look at the world through new eyes, as if you’ve never seen your surroundings before. Just as children explore through touching and tasting, consider all the senses.
Find the complexity. Don’t be fooled—children are both simple and complex. While they don’t always understand the reason behind something or the consequences of their actions, they do sense conflict and tension. They pick up on emotions, tones, and moods.
What does your inner child sound like? What story does he or she want to tell?
Write for fifteen minutes from a child’s perspective.
Feel free to use first or third-person point of view. What’s important is that you write freely, like a child—with humor, honesty, innocence, complexity.
When you’re finished, please share your practice in the comments section.