|That magical substance that holds a child spellbound|
Do you ever ask yourself whether you have enough ability as a writer to create that special story or outstanding prose?
As a writer of children’s stories, I am constantly searching for that magical substance that keeps the child locked into my tales. A book that within the first few lines conjures an enchantment that holds a child spellbound, lost in a captivating world from which they do not want to depart. The true meaning of escapism but one that not only entertains but also nourishes. One which carries the child far away into an exhilarating world of adventure. Roller coasting the emotions through a firework display of delighted oranges, petrified purples, gentle greens as well as apprehensive blues.
Child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim explained in his book (The Uses of Enchantment – The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales) that a good book should “promote [the child’s] ability to find meaning in life. It must stimulate his imagination; help him to develop his intellect and to clarify his emotions; be attuned to his anxieties and aspirations; give full recognition to his difficulties, while at the same time suggesting solutions to the problems which perturb him.”
Wow! That is an ask. And I believe that for a book to captivate child (or adult) for many years, he is probably right. However, as writers we don’t try to fit our work into a mould, we shape our writing as we progress. Malcolm Gladwell, Canadian Journalist, Author and Public Speaker, stated that it takes 10,000 hours of practising your trade in order to become an expert. That is quite a bit of time and one must apply themselves to writing liberally for at least some years but, the good news, ladies and gentlemen, is that anyone can achieve a great piece of writing if they’re willing to put in the hours! And, let be honest, no one can put in that many hours unless they have been given the desire and passion to write as we all have.
So, in conclusion to this short but fiery blog post, I think if we worry too much about whether we have or haven’t enough magic in our words, our writing might possibly lose its magic altogether. Come on fellow writers, put some hours in and get moulding!