Writing Lessons

Beatrice doesn’t like to write. Her reading comprehension and retention are high (my scientific assessment), and she is able to discuss what she has read, but actually putting pen to paper to set down her thoughts is a problem for her. She’s blocked, but my opinion is that once she gets over that brick wall the problem will become a thing of the past.

She had a biographical writing assignment to turn in this week, and chose Austrian wunderkind Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as her subject. My goal this weekend was to focus all of my attention on addressing her attitudinal difficulty with writing and helping her complete the project.

I delineated several objectives, such as acquiring a dedicated writing notebook for her, teaching her the Catholic concept of Imitatio Dei as a foundation for writing and connecting it with the first chapters of the Book of Genesis, and showing her how to write a simple imagist poem in order to make flesh her impressions on any given situation.

But fundamentally I wanted her to accept that the act of writing need not intimidate. My contention is that God spoke everything into existence, and human writings are a feeble attempt at imitation of that primal act of creation. From this perspective, everything we write, all our of imperfect, childish imitations, then, are sacred. Acknowledgement of that at the outset may guide us in our writings. Furthermore, such imitation in the form of art (e.g. drawing, a form she enjoys already, as well as writing and other forms) is quite pleasurable knowing that.

We still have a way to go with all of this, but here is where this expressive tributary in the river of Beatrice’s life begins.