Earlier this summer, my oldest son wanted to get some books about how to make books or how books are made. We went to the library got two books. They sat on the shelf until I was going to return them. He saw the books in the bag and said that he wanted make a book. I took some legal-sized copy paper and folded it in half and stapled the side. I handed the book. He pondered for a minute for a title. He said one but that wasn’t it, then he said “Panjarue.” I wrote down my spelling of the word and showed him. He transcribed it and drew a picture. A book was being published.
We often associate a book with a finished product. Publishing is one of the last thing that you do in the process of writing something. In truth, we make too much of it at the cost of beginning. He had no grand plans for the piece. He just wanted make a book. That is the desire that we all start with: to make something, so let’s remove the burden of the publishing and start with the joy of discovery.
His first page and only page of the day (He had Dino Egg Oatmeal to eat) said: Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Hanna” (the “a” got cut off). This is the beginning of almost every great fable. A couple days he added, “who lived in a nice village called Panjarue.” He also told me that the picture was of Hanna’s dad leaving to go get something. I am sure that if I asked him now he might tell a different story. The writer in me thought how great this was. I know who the protagonist is and I love the term “nice village.” Will she leave home? Is it really so nice? The father in me couldn’t wait to see what he would come up with.
Just this morning as I wrote this, he woke up and came up front. I told that I was writing about Panjarue. He thought that I meant that I was writing in his book and told that it was his story. A true writer.
Let’s not worry about the story and just make up something and begin.