Sunday, June 19, 2011

Raising a Writer

For as long as I can remember, my daughter has been telling me that she's not a writer. I have a friend who believes that she is; she asks Tori about her writing and Tori says, "I'm not a writer." My friend laughs because she is herself a writer who wishes she weren't, and also because she's a little bit psychic and she believes otherwise.

The thing is, writer or not, she's got words in her head. Not just words, either, but paragraphs, chapters, characters' entire lives.

Each morning, she shares her plan for the day. And every morning, it begins, "I'm going to write until noon, and then..." This evening, she wrote her first guest post for one of my blogs, though she already has a couple of blogs of her own. She's got the bug, whether she wants it or not.

This makes me wonder whether having words in your brain is genetic, or a function of all that early reading, or grows out of the way you relate to language in childhood or something else I haven't thought of. Somehow, I created a writer, but I have no idea whether I did it by reading to her or talking to her or teaching her to print at three or simply by sharing my DNA.