Childhood Writes The Writer

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If you aren’t in touch with childhood, you’re not a good writer

Highly contentious, eh? Full of assumptions, eh? Generalisations, too? Failure to qualify “What is a good writer?”, eh? But as a tweet, as Twitterature, surely OK!!! Yes, fine. Gets you thinking, I hope.

The childhood to be in touch with is first and foremost your own, then other people’s, particularly children’s, because they are the living proof that childhood lives! You can extend your interest by getting in touch with dead people’s childhoods. For example, what was Horatio Nelson like as a boy? Did Horatio suffer from being thus called!? Did Mary Shelley have a childhood? Was Mozart the product of the mating between a big horn and a base cello? That sort of tomb-seeking. Fun stuff.

Now, what is “good” writing. (As for a good writer, I’ll leave you to ponder. Maybe I’m just thinking of benevolence when I think of “good” but, there again, to cast doubt, maybe I’m not! Up to you, noble reader.)

“Good” writing is appealing writing but not everything written that appeals is good. Good writing uses deviant language but not every example of deviant text is OK. Good writing stands the test of time but that criterion is no good for us given we’re going to kick the bucket so we won’t even be able to follow the test (of time). Good writing explains what we already know but have never been able to express? Probably. Good writing is suggestive, deep, and intricate but tries to drag you along with it. Good writing is not repetitive writing but good writing can and does use repetition for effect. Good writing makes you feel human. Good writing works beyond what we feel we know to let us into secrets. We see into the heart of things / into the life of things. Good writing needs to be stamped “APPROVED” by other good writers.

I think that’s enough. Please wake up and do something appropriate with this bog, I mean blog.


What do you think?

Written by Jonathan Finch


  1. I like your thinking both of connecting to your child as a writer but I really like your explanation of good writing. The act of connection can be the hardest thing!