I admire people who have been writers all their lives! I have written privately in my prayer journals over the years. And, I’ve not entrusted my writing to the public until the last few years. But we all need to learn how to exchange insecurity for creativity.
Exchange Insecurity for Creativity by Tuning Into Your Story
As an elementary student, I struggled with insecurities. A simple task included writing a story and drawing a picture.
My family moved to a new school and new neighborhood after my dad died. Changes like these are big obstacles for first graders. Grief counselors were unheard of in those days.
Exchange Insecurity for Creativity by Increasing Awareness
It’s important increase awareness over our children’s struggles. The way to do this is to be aware of our own childhood stories. As with us all, teachers and schools affect how insecure or creative we become.
This story touched me deeply. It’s written by Anonymous, who seems to know me well. If you know this particular Anonymous, please comment so I can thank my good friend.
The Little Boy
Once a little boy went to school. He was quite a little boy and it was quite a big school. But when the little boy found that he could go to his room by walking right in from the door outside, he was happy and the school did not seem quite so big any more.
One morning, when the little boy had been in school awhile, the teacher said: “Today we are going to make a picture.” He liked to make pictures. He could make all kinds: lions and tigers, chickens and cows, trains and boats. He took out his box of crayons and began to draw.
But the teacher said: “Wait! It is not time to begin!”She waited until everyone looked ready. “Now,” said the teacher, “we are going to make flowers.”
“Good!” thought the little boy. He liked to make flowers, and he began to make beautiful ones with his pink and orange and blue crayons.
But the teacher said, “Wait! And I will show you how.”And it was red, with a green stem. “There,” said the teacher. “Now you may begin.”
The little boy looked at the teacher’s flower. Then he looked at his own flower. He liked his flower better than the teacher’s but he did not say this. He just turned his paper over and made a flower like the teacher’s. It was red, with a green stem.
On another day, when the little boy had opened the door from the outside all by himself, the teacher said, “Today we are going to make something with clay.”
“Good!” thought the little boy. He liked clay. He could make all kinds of things with clay: snakes and snowmen, elephants and mice, cars and trucks. He began to pull and pinch his ball of clay.
But the teacher said: “Wait! It is not time to begin!”She waited until everyone looked ready. “Now,” said the teacher, “we are going to make a dish.” He liked to make dishes, and he began to make some that were all shapes and sizes.
Then the teacher said: “Wait! I will show you how.”She showed everyone how to make one deep dish. “There,” said the teacher. “Now you may begin.”
The little boy looked at the teacher’s dish. Then he looked at his own. He liked his dishes better than the teacher’s but he did not say this. He just rolled his clay into a big ball again and made a dish like the teacher’s.
And pretty soon the little boy learned to wait and to watch, and to make things just like the teacher. And pretty soon he didn’t make things of his own anymore.
Then it happened that the little boy and his family moved to another house, in another city, and the little boy had to go to another school. This school was even bigger than the other one. And there was no door from the outside into his room. He had to go up some big steps and walk down a long hall to get to his room.
And the very first day he was there the teacher said, “Today we are going to make a picture.” “Good!” thought the little boy and he waited for the teacher to tell him what to do. But the teacher didn’t say anything; she just walked around the room.
When she came to the little boy, she said, “Don’t you want to make a picture?”
“Yes,” said the little boy. “What are we going to make?”
“I don’t know until you make it,” said the teacher.
“How shall I make it?” asked the little boy.
“Why, any way you like,” said the teacher.
“Any color?” asked the little boy.
“Any color,” said the teacher, “If everyone made the same picture, and used the same colors, how would I know who made what, and which was which?”
“I don’t know,” said the little boy.
And he began to make a red flower with a green stem.