Monday, August 20, 2012

Remembering Your Inner Child

Week of August 19, 2012: Finding Stories Within
Monday, August 20—Remembering Your Inner Child

Last week I shared quotes and my notes from SCBWI, LA. Several of those quotes were about remembering the writer’s inner child. Here’s a recap:

R “What does ten-year-old Tony want that my old Tony can make?”
—Tony DiTerizzi

R “You can only write your own story.”
—Eugene Yelchin

R “Get in touch with your inner child.”
—Antoinette Portis

R “Connect with yourself as a child of five. Write to the five-year-old version of yourself—connect to yourself.”
—Eugene Yelchin

Today’s idea-gathering activity requires that you connect with your inner child. If you have photos of yourself as a child, pull them out. If you have some artifact from your childhood (like my Wagon Train lunchbox), get it. If you don’t have any of those things, you’ll only need your brain. Sit down in a quiet, comfortable spot. Look through your photos. Examine your artifacts. Close your eyes and think back to when you were a preschooler or an elementary-school child. Think about your friends, your activities, your family, your teachers, your pets, your hobbies, your interests.

Now jot down thoughts in each box on the chart below. Don’t stress over filling every box. Just write down what comes to mind. Yes, you can write more than one idea in a box. (If you don’t want to print off the sheet, just make a list on paper using the categories shown below.)

If you have memories that don’t fit anywhere on the chart, write them around the edges of the paper.


Favorite Places
Best Vacations and Trips

Favorite Sports and Hobbies
Favorite Free-time Activities
Favorite Things About School

Favorite Friends
My Heroes
Favorite Time of Year

Big, Good Surprises

Not everything in childhood is apple pie and roses. Some of the funniest stories, and some of the most touching ones, come from the not-so positive experiences of life. Complete the sheet below.


Least Favorite Places
Worst Vacations and Trips

Least Favorite Sports and Hobbies
Dreaded Free-time Activities
Things I Hated About School

Least Favorite Friends
Hated Time of Year

Big, Bad Surprises

When you finish, save both sheets in your writer’s notebook, or a file. We’ll be gathering more ideas tomorrow, so don’t miss it!

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