Posted On August 29, 2011 by Print This Post

The Kid in You: The Untapped Resource in All of Us by Kieran Kramer

Kieran Kramer writes funny, smart, sexy historical books that make you smile and swoon from beginning to end. When you meet Kieran  you understand why she has so much joy and laughter in her books – it’s part of the lovely person she is.  And, if you’re lucky enough to sit down with her and hear her story to publication you will also hear her talk about how she believes that the key to your success is finding the real you – the kid in you.  Welcome Kieran!

The Kid in You

Strong-man poses by Kieran (right) and two of her siblings. This is the way kids see themselves - strong and fierce!

Have you ever met a boring kid?

No.

Seriously.

Every single kid is interesting.

If you’re unaware of this fact, get yourself to the nearest elementary school and meet  a classroom full of them. They’re fascinating. They’ll make you laugh and they’ll make you cry.

They’re little walking, talking beacons of truth. Truth wrapped in story–and sometimes peanut butter and jelly or spit balls, but still.
Beacons of truth. Compelling ones.

 

Art Linkletter knew this was true. In the 50’s, he had a television show called House Party. And at the conclusion of each episode, he’d interview children, asking them off-the-cuff questions and getting back hilarious and often poignant replies. Later, Bill Cosby followed up with his own show, Kids Say the Darndest Things, in which he employed clips from Linkletter’s interviews with kids.
We can’t get enough of kids and their unique perspectives on life.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because you’ll write better stories if you relate to The Kid In You.

Yes, my friends, there’s a person lurking in the shadows of your life, a wise, sensitive, original person who can take your writing from blasé to blazing, green to great, from flimsy to flat-out spectacular.

What a shame you’re ignoring The Kid in You.

I would never ignore anyone! the kind writers among us are insisting right now.

Well, you are. You’re just as guilty of turning your back on The Kid in You—this all-powerful, untapped writing resource–as the rest of us heartless, ignorant schmucks who decided to become storytellers.

Whether you had a good childhood or not, if you’re reading this right now, you had a childhood. We all did.

Obviously.

But what you may not be doing is talking to that child—that funny blabbermouth or shy genius or sensitive survivor who’s going to make your writing shine–as you write.

Even those of us who do look back tend to do it from an adult’s perspective. We categorize. Look for logical answers and patterns. Use all the wisdom gleaned from living over our lives to make sense of our childhoods. But I promise you, you’ll never know why Mary Kaputnik pulled your chair out from under you in fifth grade! Or why Cousin Joe refused your apology. Or why your late mother cried two days after Christmas, every year, without fail, even though she insisted she was happy.

But it’s adult of us to try to make sense of all that stuff, isn’t it?

Yes. Adult and once-removed.

Once removed from the feelings.

But there’s a reason for this. It’s because the feelings alone are so powerful, you’re practically lifted out of your shoes just going back in time to that Kid In You, which is why you’re Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants Professor Sensible Person while you travel down Memory Lane most of the time (unless you’ve had too many margaritas or are in the presence of a relentless therapist).

A lot of us tend to write our stories removed from the feelings. It’s our status quo state when we get to the computer. We write as if we’re outside a scene, watching the characters, recording, and trying to make sense of what’s happening—

Because we should.

Because everything’s kinda gotta be logical.

Right?

And fit together.

Sigh!

Like pieces of a puzzle.

Yawn…

So we can protect ourselves.

From ourselves.

Because we’re dangerous when we feel too much. Dangerous and damned intuitive. Dangerous, damned intuitive, and alive. Ignore the goosebumps on your arms because you just remembered how powerful you are and listen to me: being that alive is uncomfortable when you’re a grown-up used to putting up walls to defend yourself, when you’ve spent years putting up a million social filters. It’s exhausting, quite frankly, to connect with The Kid In You.

You’ll think of all kinds of reasons to put a lid on the Kid.

But you’re a writer. You have to write the truth, and the truth can hurt. The truth can throw you for a loop. The truth can chew you up and spit you out—the fake part of you anyway. The real you will be left, gasping for breath, reminding you that nothing you write matters if you aren’t writing from the deepest part of you.

The truth demands you pay attention to The Kid In You.

Now, unless you were severely traumatized, to the point that going back is going to make you want to jump off a bridge, and you’ve been told only to do so under the supervision of trained professionals, I want you to consider doing an exercise with me:

1) Close your eyes.

2) Breathe in and out.

3) Get onto the Star Trek transporter deck of your memory and go back to The Kid In You, at the age that resonates with you most, maybe between 8 and 10.

4) Remember something—something you had feelings about.

5) Feel it.

6) Really feel it. Sometimes this means metaphorically holding onto The Kid In You’s hand or putting your arm over The Kid In You’s shoulder and following along. Stay in imaginary physical contact as much as you can. Don’t observe. Dwell. Ask The Kid In You how he or she is doing. Ask The Kid if he or she has anything to say to you about your story.

7) Come back to the grownup you.

8) Write.

9) Whenever you get stuck, ask The Kid In You to help you out. Even when it comes to grown-up subjects, The Kid In You will come up with something, a great zinger or a pithy truth that will get you going again.

10) If you stop feeling as you write, stop writing. Reconnect with The Kid In You. Remind yourself you used to feel first, think second. Indulge in some Kid behavior. Play putt-putt. Watch the Brady Bunch. Read a favorite childhood book. Interact with kids.

11) Poke the grownup you every time you forget to feel as you write your story.

That’s it. I hope you’ll find that channeling The Kid In You is like rediscovering your very best friend. Haywood Smith, the author of the Red Hat books, reminded me of this a couple of years ago. She told me she’d learned to go to a place in her head where she’d invite her inner child to sit on her lap. And she’d hug that child close.

I’ve always been connected with my own inner Kid—I think that strong connection helped get me published–but Haywood’s advice reminded me more than ever that there’s something special neglected in our lives.

Ourselves.

The deepest, most vulnerable, intuitive part of ourselves, the part that hides and watches yet yearns to be heard and loved.

Channeling The Kid In You can bring back all kinds of emotions, some of them not easy to handle. But you know what? Those feelings mean you’re still alive. The Kid In You reminds you of that. Most important of all, the Kid In You begs you to be you. No one else can.

I think that after you reacquaint yourself with The Kid In You, you’re going to be surprised at how your characters and plotlines take on new energy and feeling. Something will hum there, something bigger than your story. It could be a truth you may have forgotten about. Or a truth you may have been supressing, intentionally or not. Or perhaps it’s a truth that draws you back over and over, like a sparkly jewel.

That’s your Voice.

Cherish the Kid.

Cherish your Voice.

And tell us a story. Tell us something that will make us lean closer to the fire, so we don’t miss a word.

Kieran is offering a Regency-inspired porcelain tea bag rest along with some “tea time” goodies and a signed copy of CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MARRIAGE to one commenter at Romance University!

***

How do you cherish the Kid inside you? How do you find your voice? How does it help your writing?

Join us on Wednesday when Josh Lanyon, talented author of M/M romance and gay fiction, joins us to discuss how to make your male characters in your M/M romance more realistic.

***

BIO: USA Today best-selling author and double-Rita finalist Kieran Kramer writes lighthearted Regency historical romances for St. Martin’s Press. IF YOU GIVE A GIRL A VISCOUNT, the fourth and last book in her Impossible Bachelors series, will hit the shelves in November 2011. Her new Regency series, House of Brady, premiers in 2012. A former CIA employee, journalist, and English teacher, Kieran’s also a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at www.kierankramerbooks.com <http://www.kierankramerbooks.com/> .

 

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50 Responses to “The Kid in You: The Untapped Resource in All of Us by Kieran Kramer”

  1. Hey Kieran,

    Thanks for joining us today! What a great post. I have a problem, though. I remember next to nothing about my childhood, except my brothers calling me Sparrow Legs. LOL

    Must dig deeper!

    Tracey

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | August 29, 2011, 4:29 am
  2. Hi, Kieran! Love the discussion of inner children. Can I blame mine for putting inappropriate jokes in my manuscripts? :)

    Seriously, though, great idea. Looking back I always think the things I got upset over where kinda silly, and more my fault than I could admit then,but there were powerful emotions at work.

    Jamie

    Posted by Jamie | August 29, 2011, 5:28 am
  3. Morning Kieran…

    Thanks so much for a fun post. =) My inner kid knows how to belch the alphabet, so I don’t let her out often enough. =) But I agree about the emotions…they’re tough to deal with and some hurt feelings linger for a reaaaally long time….

    So wonderful having you here!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 29, 2011, 7:01 am
  4. Kieran – Thanks so much for this fantastic blog! You’ve really given me some food for thought.

    Posted by Becke Davis (Becke Martin) | August 29, 2011, 7:15 am
  5. Thanks for stopping by, Tracey, Jamie, and Carrie! Carrie, burping the alphabet is QUITE a skill, LOL!! And Tracey, aka Sparrow Legs (smile), mayybe a few journal entries to get you back there if you WANT to go? You might get all sorts of new energy–both dark and light–in your writing from taking a stroll back. And Jamie, what you said about powerful emotions is key–we were powerful little beings as kids, even though we were pretty much at the mercy of the adults in our lives (and the bigger kids, LOL!). But kids have a tenacity of spirit that they sometimes let go of as they grow up. They’re fierce and flexible. I’m hoping that we can re-connect with that indomitable, creative spirit in our writing lives–and if we do, it can’t help but spill over into the rest of our lives, too, I think. xoxo

    Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 7:15 am
  6. I’m glad, Becke!! Have a great writing week, and I hope you’ll allow yourself to do something FUN today that you haven’t done in a long, long time. :>)

    Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 7:17 am
  7. Hi, Kieran. Welcome to RU. All weekend I was thinking something is missing in my WIP. I’ve been thinking and thinking and couldn’t figure out what I’m missing. I think you just gave me a clue!

    The thing I’m struggling with right now is distraction. I’m usually pretty good about buckling down, but with a book release next week I keep thinking about all that I need to do.

    Any tips on staying focused so the inner kid can come out and play?

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 29, 2011, 7:35 am
  8. Playing with my daughter really helps me find my inner kid. I had to ‘learn’ to be a kid again so I can play tag and peek-a-boo with her….

    Posted by May | August 29, 2011, 7:53 am
  9. Morning Kieran, Loved the blog. Its easy to keep my inner kid young. I home school so I get to see the world through my childs eyes who also is so creative with crafts,acting, and her music. So its never far away.

    Posted by Annie Ryan | August 29, 2011, 7:53 am
  10. Hi, Kieran –

    We’re so glad to have you at RU today. I find my Inner Kid sometimes gets suppressed by the sheer logistics of my life (for my blogmates who are wondering, I’ve slept in 13 cities since June 11 :)).

    I like the idea of journaling to remind myself of what being a kid felt like (and me, the one who swore up and down to her mother she was going to play Barbies with her kids one day! Just my luck, I had a boy.). Any suggestions on particular topics that might get the Inner Kid revved up?

    Thanks so much!
    Kelsey

    Posted by KelseyBrowning | August 29, 2011, 8:30 am
  11. Hi Kieran! Checking in from the local library since we still don’t have power at my house – thank you Hurricane Irene!

    I love how you focus on this aspect of writing. Whenever I find myself getting too serious about my writing (and that leads to the inevitable stalling of the story) I sit down, grab one of daughter’s coloring books and color or I work on a scrapbook page – glue, scissors, photos = creativity.

    Thanks for being here today!

    Robin

    Posted by Robin Covington | August 29, 2011, 8:36 am
  12. I spent a lot of my childhood playing by myself. I know that the one thing I do miss from those days is having a sense of wonderment and awe about the world. My Grandparents gave me a subscripion to National Geographic magazine every year, and my grandfather also took me to see varous interesting things ( to a theater at Theil College to see ‘Never Cry Wolf’ when I was 10, from Pa. to Nebraska to the Winnebago Pow Wow when I was 9, arrow head or fossil hunting around his farm ) that he thought were important for me to know or see.
    I am now in the middle of raising my own two kidlets, and find myself slightly envious of their fresh perspective. I miss that feeling ! My kids are 8 and 10, which is the perfect age for travels and museums and librarys and discussions about stars and fossils and why the sky is blue during the day and dark at night.

    I like the idea of the journal entries about childhood. I may do that , perhaps it will help me stop being such a boring adult !

    Posted by Rebekah | August 29, 2011, 8:53 am
  13. Hi Kieran,

    My kids ask me about my childhood all the time. Right now, I’m in high school again. It’s a little uncomfortable. When I was a child, I wanted to be an adult. I failed to notice a few things like jobs, bills, and responsibility. My inner child is a shy girl who likes to read and change the endings of the stories. Maybe she’s not as far away as I thought. Art Linkletter used to ask kids what their moms told them not to say. Good advice.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | August 29, 2011, 9:02 am
    • Mary Jo, in case you don’t see this further down the page, I’m copying it again here…I hope you reacquaint yourself with that shy little girl. She might have something to say to you and has been waiting to say it all these years! Good luck, have some crazy fun today, even if it’s something small like opening the Archie comic book at the cash register at the grocery store [I do that often, just to see the gang's faces, LOL!] and thanks for stopping by Romance University.

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 2:18 pm
  14. Great post. Funny, at my writing blog I state on my profile the following: Basically, I never outgrew my Barbie dolls. Here I am all grown up and I’m still playing Barbies, but instead of using dolls to spin a tale, I use my fingers and a keyboard.

    It’s what I think of writing as–the kid in me that still wants to get lost in my imagination.

    I produced my favourite seven novels when I was playing Barbies (not best writing or most realistic), but I fell in love with the spirit of the work that captured the feeling of youth–travelling back to the 80s as a teenager.

    But I stall, hem and haw, think this or that when the word PUBLICATION comes into the mix. Fear keeps those seven novels on my hard-drive. Fear that what I deemed as the spirit of the 80s would be too risque, too edgy, to wild, too unrealistic, or this or that for YA.

    When I try re-work the one novel to “fit,” I grow frustrated. I park it back on the computer and continue working on my current WIP that I’m editing.

    At times I feel as if I parked my Barbie story-telling in the garage when I started thinking last year it was time to try for publication.

    Posted by Mercy | August 29, 2011, 9:10 am
    • Mercy, I already posted this in another comment–I didn’t see that very obvious button that allows me to reply to individual comments! But I’m putting it here just in case you didn’t see it further down the page…

      I encourage you to put it all out there. Don’t let fear hold you back. Life is too short…let that playful You–the creative, REAL you–shine, however outrageous you think you might look to other people! Nothing is more riveting that TRUTH. Be yourself, and you’ll be interesting to others as a bonus. I think we run into trouble when we try too hard to interest others–because then we lose our essential charm, which in writing is our Voices.

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 2:16 pm
  15. Hi Kieran. Great post! And I love that picture. I often use my own children’s comments and observations in my manuscripts. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re young and idealistic, or if it’s because they’re short and see the world from a different viewpoint, but they have such and interesting–and hilarious–view of the world. And I have a feeling you and your siblings are still like that picture–strong and fierce.

    Posted by Sharon Wray | August 29, 2011, 9:29 am
    • Sharon, I have SO enjoyed your blog FAITH HOPE AND PUBLICATION! Your photo essays as you follow your kids on their adventures are so touching. You definitely are in touch with the Kid in You!

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 2:14 pm
  16. Adrienne, when I’m under huge pressure with my writing, the easiest, fastest way for me to tap into the Kid in Me is to dance in my loft. I have a bunch of $6 Target mirrors nailed together, and it’s my studio. You don’t need to dance to music from your “kid” era, either. Dance to anything that makes you feel joyous and light and full of energy–that makes you feel like your best YOU. When I can’t get to my loft, I blast music in my car! And I know it’s obnoxious, but sometimes I’ll drive with my windows down and crank up the volume to eleven . Yes, I drive a white mini-van (sigh), but it brings out the rebellious me, the kid who flouted the rules.

    Kelsey, here are some topics that might help bring out the Kid in You as you journal:

    My Favorite Book(s)
    Christmas/Hanukkah
    Thanksgiving
    Halloween
    The Best Birthday I Ever Had!
    My Favorite Toy
    My Favorite Cartoon
    A Special Day at School
    My Best Friend
    Summer Vacation
    Winter Playtime
    My First Crush
    A Sad Day
    A Scary Moment
    A Very Proud-of-Myself Day
    A Happy Day
    My Pets
    My Neighborhood
    Best Family Moments
    My Favorite Foods
    What Was Most Important to Me [choose a certain age--5, 8, 10, etc]
    My Fears
    My Hopes
    What I Wanted To Be When I Grew Up

    Mercy, I encourage you to put it all out there. Don’t let fear hold you back. Life is too short…let that playful You–the creative, REAL you–shine, however outrageous you think you might look to other people! Nothing is more riveting that TRUTH. Be yourself, and you’ll be interesting to others as a bonus. I think we run into trouble when we try too hard to interest others–because then we lose our essential charm, which in writing is our Voices.

    Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 9:45 am
  17. Hey, Robin!!! You’re so sweet to check in from the library. :>)

    Mary Jo, reacquaint yourself with that shy little girl. She might have something to say to you and has been waiting to say it all these years! Good luck, have some crazy fun today, even if it’s something small like opening the Archie comic book at the cash register at the grocery store [I do that often, just to see the gang's faces, LOL!] and thanks for stopping by Romance University.

    And that goes for you, too, Sharon and Rebekah! Thanks for visiting me here, and if you ever want to stop by and say hello on my Facebook page, I’m there every day at http://www.facebook.com/KieranKramer. I’d love to hear how you’ve rediscovered something playful about yourself that maybe has lain dormant for years!

    Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 9:51 am
  18. Hey, is that LAIN DORMANT or LAID DORMANT?

    Guess what–today I don’t care!!! Woohoo!!!!

    (off to go stomp in a metaphorical puddle in my latest WIP)

    Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 9:53 am
  19. Wow, my inner child? Thats hard. I was painfully shy and was so afraid of speaking up. I loved books and played alone with my barbies. Sometimes I could get my little brother to play but I had to beg. LOL! I’m not sure if I want to go back to that! I have overcome my shyness to a certain point but I always wanted to be the wild carefree child. Thanks for sharing a great post today!

    Posted by Johanna Johcum | August 29, 2011, 10:02 am
    • Johanna, thanks for sharing! If you didn’t get a chance to express the wild, carefree YOU then, you can now, in your writing!! That’s the greatest thing about life…every day is a new beginning in a way. I find that very comforting. :>)

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 12:34 pm
    • I was also shy, well, more socially inept..lol .

      One item I thought about, in regards to going back to your inner child, is that many people ( myself included) did not have a very happy or pleasant childhood. I’ve journaled thanks to a suggestion from a counselor , as a way to help myself process events. I find it a lot harder to dig through the darker memories to find those few nuggets of happiness. They are worth it. They help remind me of why I am greatful to be an adult now, and also remind me over and over again Exactly Why I am raising my own children the way I do. I have been very protective and proactive for them, because my hope is that I can allow them to grow up and have the healthy and positive childhood I ( and sadly, many others ) were denied.

      Posted by Rebekah | August 29, 2011, 12:42 pm
      • This is a beautiful comment, Rebekah. It’s obvious to me that out of your childhood suffering was honed a compassionate, brave woman. The choices you’ve made as a mom reflect that to the world.

        I have no doubt that your writing sings with all sorts of compelling emotions and themes, too, that reflect your worldview–from my perspective, it looks like you’ve chosen to focus on those “nuggets of happiness” in life without denying that they’re accompanied by trials.

        Good luck to you, Rebekah!! You’ve got lucky children. :>)

        Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 3:55 pm
  20. Kieren, once again you have written a wonderful blog that shows both your optimism and willingness share your insights with others. Very thought provoking.

    For me you hit the nail on the head that every single kid is interesting. As a kid I wrote all the time. I never worried about wasting time, or what people thought. The writer kid in me was damaged in college, by critical professors and the soul sucking machine of higher academics. When writing you are suppose to silence your inner critic. But in college it is all about the critic. Since my professors and peers were often of the theater, you can imagine that criticism was delivered in dramatic fashion. :)

    Two decades later I am trying to write again, but it is still a challenge to ignore the inner critic.I like the ideas in your blog, and will have to let my inner kid do the writing for awhile.

    Posted by Gayle Cochrane | August 29, 2011, 10:28 am
    • Well, apparently my fast typing inner kid wants to spell your name with an “e” even though it is right in front of me. Go figure.

      Posted by Gayle Cochrane | August 29, 2011, 10:35 am
      • Thanks, Gayle!!! You’re so kind.

        You know, what I said about every kid being interesting might seem obvious to some, but it’s one of those truths that really hits me hard. I’m glad you felt something there, too, when I said that. Reflecting on that truth helps me remember that we’re all amazing beings. We’ve simply forgotten, that’s all. With all the stresses of “grown-up” life, we’ve let go of a lot of our instinct to feel spontaneous joy. As writers, it’s up to us to remember how interesting life is and how fascinating we each are at our core and bring that out on the page!

        Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 12:39 pm
  21. Great inspiration here. It makes me thing of my three year old and his legos. I have no idea what storyline he’s got working but there are always lots of zooms and beeps and blasts going on. :)

    I think it’s easiest for me to listen to my inner kid when I do a book in a week challenge because it forces the plotter/worrier/OCD perfectionist in me to just go with it whatever words come out.

    Posted by Avery Flynn | August 29, 2011, 11:11 am
    • I hear you, Avery. Book in a week DOES bring out the Inner Kid, and isn’t it awesome? Yes, scary awesome, too, but gosh, you feel so alive when you’re doing book in a week! It’s great!! So thanks for bringing that up.

      I encourage everyone out there to try it–or book in a month if a week’s too short for you (NANO takes place in November).

      Let go of that inner critique. Play in the mud when you write.

      Go for it. Be brazen. Be bold. Be wild.

      That reminds me of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. What a great, great book. Let your inner monster come out and play. Escape that room with the bowl of oatmeal. Go into the jungle.

      All right, have I gotten too carried away? I think I might have, and I’m glad.

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 12:43 pm
  22. I have a lot of memories from when I was a kid, mostly of books that I read and loved or the stories that I came up with when I was little – the stories from when I would “play pretend” with my friends. Some of the stories were quite elaborate actually.

    I’ve never thought about it in quite that way, but I think that a lot (even most) of my writing and creativity comes from that part of me, the “play pretend” childhood part of me. It’s more grown up, sometimes the issues are more complicated, but the motivations of myself as a creator are pretty similar.

    I mean, I still want to be a princess or a super spy or a famous-whatever… So of course some of my characters get to be those things!

    Posted by Monica C. | August 29, 2011, 11:21 am
    • Monica, that’s wonderful to recognize that part of your storyteller is the child in you…maybe ALL of the storyteller, and we’ve layered on years of experience and wisdom to enrich our little pretender’s well of story ideas.

      Remember how Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge? Yes, yes, and yes!!!!!

      Knowledge is finite. Imagination is endless. Knowledge elucidates the why’s and wherefore’s of our existence, but imagination is the mystical connector that allows us to celebrate that existence, together.

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 12:51 pm
  23. My most favorite year EVER was when I was nine. My life totally peaked in the fourth grade. Ha-ha!

    So many wonderful things from that year. But what popped into my mind while I was reading this was Oregon Trail, this computer game we were allowed to play if we finished our computer assignment. I think it’s part of why I’m such a fast typer now. That game rocked my socks!

    And you know what? I have a copy of it on my work computer now. It. Is. On. Oregon Trail and happy writing days – here I come! Thanks, Kieran!

    Posted by Kerri Carpenter | August 29, 2011, 11:33 am
    • Yay, Kerri!!! Play that Oregon Trail, LOL!!!! That’s fabulous. Hey, I’ll bet it brightened your day at least a little bit. It’s so good to get out of our adult ruts and remember FUN.

      Happy trails!

      :>)

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 12:53 pm
  24. Such a great post! Sorry we didi not get to see each other this past Saturday at our RWA Chapters meeting- hurrican Irene prevented it. As long as everyone is safe- maybe a little wet but safe:)

    About your post- the kid in you. Loved what you talked about- and yes us adults often (always) edit what we say or think. Some times (alot of time) we just have to be a kid to get the creative writing juices going:)

    Posted by Lois Lavrisa | August 29, 2011, 11:34 am
    • Yes, Lois, thanks so much for visiting me here, and I’m so sorry about our chapter’s meeting getting cancelled. I had to skip it anyway for a family wedding, which went off without a hitch, BTW–it took place on a dock in Charleston, SC, this past weekend. Luckily, Irene bypassed us (I also hope everyone in her path is safe now and restored to their homes!).

      Speaking of that wedding, the bride and groom jumped off the dock into the water afterward. Talk about a way to celebrate like kids! A bunch of people joined them in the leap into the briny deep, although I didn’t–I was holding a camera. But boy, did it look fun.

      Lois, I think that to be really good at anything as an adult, you have to keep that Kid a part of you, don’t you? You strike me as having a youthful heart–you have that lovely, compelling aura about you, which must serve you well as a teacher, public speaker, AND as a writer.

      And yes, we need to edit what we think in the boardroom and even socially with our peers–that’s vitally important, in fact–but what a joy as writers that we can be totally free to express ourselves in our stories! It’s a great privilege and what keeps me coming back to the page.

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 1:04 pm
  25. Oh, I love this! We should not only write this way, but live this way, really :)

    One of the ways I channel my inner-kid is to have toys in my writing space. I have everything from a Magic 8 Ball to an Edward Cullen doll (don’t ask!), and whenever I’m stuck, I play a little. One of my walls is covered in artwork that my kids (9, 6 and 4) have done, too. All of it reminds me that, while writing can be serious business, and yes, those deadlines matter, in the grander scheme of things, my brain won’t work nearly as well if it thinks like a stressed-out grown-up all the time.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Posted by Kimberly Kincaid | August 29, 2011, 11:52 am
    • Kim, I LOVE that you have those toys on your desk and that artwork visible as you write! Gosh, yes, writing can be a serious business, but that’s all the more reason to inject a little fun into the process.

      I think a lot about Steve Jobs. That guy is a wizard in a highly stressful, complicated industry. I think much of his magical success comes from staying connected to that Kid.

      Same with the folks at Pixar, who create substantial, endearing films from kid-oriented plot lines chock-full of playful, light characters and lines.

      Part of being a kid is forgetting to be afraid. I wish that for all of us.

      Thanks for commenting, Kimberly!! Your Kid is very evident to me, and I’m proud to call you a friend. :>)

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 1:10 pm
  26. Kieran, I LOVE this post! So inspiring and creative and just a plain great idea to connect to the raw creativity and imagination we had as kids. One of my favorite links to my childhood is to pull out and read an old Nancy Drew book. Or go to a fair. There are foods that take me back to childhood. And my inner, young me is the one who makes me want to buy pink dresses and wear bows in my hair. (Those are the impulses I smile at but pass on.)

    But I never thought of calling on my inner child when facing a writing block. Awesome tool that I will absolutely put into action.

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    ~Rochelle
    RochelleStaab.com

    Posted by Rochelle Staab | August 29, 2011, 1:01 pm
  27. Hello Kiernan!

    Terrific post! I agree, tapping into the inner kid is a fantastic resource, inexhaustible resource. Some of my characters share the same obsessions and neurosis (i.e. Gidget movies and constructing the perfect layer cake) I had a as a kid. Those childhood experiences that shaped us lend an interesting and unique dimension to the characters we create.

    Thanks for being with us!

    Posted by jennifer tanner | August 29, 2011, 2:56 pm
    • Jennifer, it’s been such a pleasure being here! And I totally agree–those childhood experiences DO lend a wonderful dimension to the characters we create.

      That child inside us, if we’re lucky, never, ever goes away. And we can constantly revive our storytelling skills if we take a step back, ignore that inner editor–if we question, wonder, poke fun at, explore…all those things we did as a kid.

      :>)

      Posted by Kieran | August 29, 2011, 4:01 pm
  28. Kieran, as I recall, we assumed those fierce poses for about .01 seconds because the temperature was ~1000 degrees!

    Posted by Patrick | August 29, 2011, 6:27 pm
  29. Wonderful post, Kieran, and exactly right!!!!

    Posted by Gail Barrett | August 30, 2011, 4:23 am
  30. Awesome post, Kieran. Now I know exactly why your books are so much fun to read.

    I’ve known for a long time that my subconscious brain is so much smarter than my conscious brain, which is why I try to put the conscious brain to sleep when I write. But that’s still a very logical, adult way to put it. I like your inner kid approach better.

    So I’m taking off my lid, peering into the dark recesses of my memory, and calling out: “Oh child in me, child in me! Can you come out to play?”

    Posted by McKenna Darby | August 30, 2011, 8:46 am
    • I like this, McKenna!!! Have fun.

      What I like best about kids is that they live in the moment. If we did that more as adults, we’d be happier AND more productive people, whether we’re writers, teachers, athletes, business people, or whatever.

      :>)

      Posted by Kieran | August 30, 2011, 11:51 am
  31. So . . . drumroll please . . . here is our winner:

    Kieran Kramer’s Regency goodies:

    Rebekah Ramie

    Congrats!

    Robin

    Posted by Robin Covington | September 4, 2011, 5:25 pm

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