I have a few thoughts on how to help kids love to write…
1)Encourage Reading: First, you need to get them to love to read. This is often not easy, especially with someone like me who was a very slow reader. The most important thing here is to be patient with your young reader and encourage them to enjoy the process–however long it takes. When someone begins to love to read, they often graduate seamlessly into wanting to write.
2)Encourage Creativity: In high school, I took a creative writing class that really inspired me, because it taught me how broad the subject of writing can be. We were given an assignment to write a story based on one certain color: I chose orange and wrote a nice little narrative about driving from Maryland to Georgia, with all the “oranges” along the way. In a nutshell, free up your child to write about anything, no matter how seemingly small is scope.
3) Be A Reader and Writer Yourself: It’s almost impossible to get a child to do something that you don’t “model” for them yourself. I have very strong memories of my father sitting in his chair, reading. I think I was influenced for life by that one little “snapshot.”
4) Learn and Use Proper English: The single biggest problem I find with manuscripts that I read is with the grammar and spelling. Although this is not important in the beginning, it becomes very important later on. My parents worked with me on my grammar, and I used to note how Newscasters spoke on television. It really helped me when I finally became a professional writer.