Boys and Girls,

Do you like to wait? When are times you have to wait? What is something you are waiting for? Have you ever learned something while you were waiting?

In this new year, I have been thinking a lot about the topic of waiting and what we can learn when we wait. I plan on writing about this topic for a future blogpost or in a children’s book.

Before I write on a topic, I often like to brainstorm my ideas about the topic in a journal or notebook.

I often put the topic in the middle of a circle in the middle of the page and then link that topic to related subjects placed in other circles. Sometimes, for fun, I will add color and related pictures.

This way of brainstorming is often referred to as mind-mapping. It has been proven to be a good way to unlock creativity about a given topic.

Next time you are asked to write about a topic at school, try doing this on a piece of paper first. See if it helps you like it helps me.

Oh! By the way, I’d love to hear your answers to the questions I asked you about waiting. Your answers may help me as I write about the topic of waiting.

Also, if you want to share a mind-map you’ve made, ask your parent or guardian if you may take a picture of it and post it for others to see how creative you are.

Another way I like to explore ideas for writing is to see how other authors have written on that topic.

E.B. White, the author of Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little, is an author of children’s books whom I admire greatly. His style of writing helps me to picture the scenes and to experience the emotions of the characters.

Recently, I was listening to an audio book with E.B. White reading from one of his books. This is a portion the story from Chapter 3 (See if you can guess which book he was reading.)

The Trumpet of the Swan“Days passed, and still the swan sat quietly on five eggs. Nights passed. She sat and sat, giving her warmth to the eggs. No one disturbed her. The boy was gone—perhaps he would never come back. Inside of each egg, something was happening that she couldn’t see: a little swan was taking shape. As the weeks went by, the days grew longer, the nights grew shorter. When a rainy day came the swan just sat still and let it rain.”

Did you see how this excerpt from The Trumpet of the Swan was focusing on the topic of waiting? Could you picture the mother swan sitting on her eggs waiting patiently? Without coming right out and telling you, the author let us know it was spring, What clues did he use?

If you want to write good stories, practice showing the reader without telling. E.B. White shows us the waiting process of the swan in spring.

He doesn’t just tell us that the swan had to wait a long time for her eggs to hatch in the spring.

I would love for you to share excerpts from some of your favorite books where the character(s) had to wait for something.

It’s fun to learn together!

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