How to Write a Book: Instructions from a Seven Year Old

I am a writer…or at least I like to say that I am. I haven’t written anything of value in a while. However, my seven-year-old son, Cody, actually IS a writer. He doesn’t identify himself as a writer. He doesn’t need to. He just writes. When I tried to explain to him that I am taking classes to learn how to write books he replied:

“That doesn’t make any sense. Writing books is easy. I can teach you. All you have to do is come up with an idea, get some paper, staple it together, and then write it down. Duh!”

He knows what he’s talking about. He writes and illustrates a book a week. Yep, a book a week. I’ve been trying to write a book for three years. I have nothing.

I was already feeling quite crappy about my lack of writing when tonight he tells me, “I write poetry on the bus.”

“You do what?”

“I write poetry on the bus. It makes me feel better.”

“Can I see it?”

“I put them in my notes on my iPod Touch. But I’m not done with them yet.”

Apparently he knows about first drafts and revisions. Go figure!

Here are two of his poems exactly as he typed them:

School. Is. My
Favorite place. Better. At
home. Than. School. I
love. My. Mom. And. My.
Brother. I. Miss. My.
Mom. And. Have. A.
Good. Time. But. Just.
Remember. School. Is. A.
Great. Place. To. Be. So
you. Can. Learn

217. Is. My. Bus. To.
I. Love. My. Bus
It’s. even. Funner. To.
Play. With. My. Bus.

So, now I’m feeling really really crappy about my lack of writing. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, he is also a budding photographer. Since I really want to learn photography, too, I’m feeling even worse. The picture above is one he took of himself with his iPod Touch. I still haven’t figured out how he took it, but I love it.

I hope I can be just like him when I grow up.

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15 Responses to How to Write a Book: Instructions from a Seven Year Old

  1. That’s phenomenal, Sarah – Yes, Cody is definitely an inspiration. You are an inspiration too. The writing will come – be kind to yourself and let it happen on its own schedule 🙂

  2. mazemangriot says:

    Instead of feeling bad about you feel proud of your son and use him as a muse or competitor. Write everyday like he does. And weather its good or not who cares but your writing. The good stuff only comes from consistent action. I think as artists in general we fool ourselves (being lazy) into thinking that we need to wait for inspiration. If you wait for inspiration without a pen in your hand how can you truly know when your inspired to write? So as he suggested get paper a pencil staple some sheets together and start writing duh!!! And fyi after I hit enter I will be doing the same thing!!!!

  3. Sally says:

    Cody has a way of simplifying something quite complex. I learned early on to ask my child when I was stuck or confused. Their wisdom is to be treasure, respected, and enjoyed to the fullest!

  4. how perfect…children are wonderful muses for us dulled adults

  5. Wendy says:

    Heck, I think I want to be him when I grow up, too! What a beautiful and simple way of looking at the creative process. 😀

  6. Seana Smith says:

    I reckonthe secret of his success is that he writes every day, every day…that’s the key… doesn’t take long for the words to rack up!

  7. charlotte says:

    Have you thought about compling his work for a book for children? It could be helpful to other children.

    • Sarah Joyce Bryant says:

      I hadn’t thought about doing compiling his work for a book for children, but that’s a great idea!!! Thank you!

  8. I am always in awe of how truly limitless the world is to young children! I love his poetry! It just proves that everyone has a story to tell, to share, something to create! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

  9. kvwordsmith says:

    I love Cody’s attitude & his work – I too, wish I could be more like him when I grow up! I do my best writing in my head when I am driving – sort of like Cody on the bus- the repetitive motion, nowhere else to go, and your mind just sort of lets it all spill out…(but I still have an eye on the road – I sometimes miss exits with my daydreaming, but I am safe otherwise…)

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