Late night thougts on writing….

Whoever sang the song “The Nighttime is the Right Time” did not have children and a 9 o’clock lesson.
Today was full of activity as usual, but good news all around – my first time teaching teen bible study was a success – in that I left with half a voice remaining, teens that were not asleep or pulling each other’s hair out, and with a growing feeling that I gave them an honest and forthcoming look at my topic, which was praise and worship. I must admit I fell victim to the hyperfocusing tendencies of a ADHD writer – the inability to summarize and make concise points was obvious in that 90% of what I wrote was not read aloud. The stream of thoughts that come when I’m writing is similar to that when I perform musically – only in the rear view mirror of playback or review does my work seem excessive. At the time of creation it feels natural, almost effortless. Of course, the writer’s craft is to take that stream and force it into a canal of constrained logic, while the musician’s craft is to make the music seem to be as wild and free as possible while maintaining underneath the foundation of harmony and melodic sense.

For my children, the tendency to overstate is all too common. Marcus hates to summarize. His American Revolution project last year, supposedly a synopsis of the major battles, became a 20 page paraphrase of the book he was reading. I tried to impress upon him the need for information to be pared down and analyzed for major themes, but in his head everything is major. Again, the double edged sword – I certainly wouldn’t accuse an American History Major of being too detailed, and who knows if he may be headed in that direction? In my older son, the need to include everything did lead at times to problems with finishing work – public school, of course, is nothing if not ruthless with the deadline – and he also had to learn to sometimes do what was easiest until he had the freedom to do what was best.
I hope it does not seem like I am dismissing the idea of editing and structuring the written word, but I am saying that the desire to express everything you know about a subject shouldn’t be ignored or dismissed. Most children, like my daughter, are hard pressed to do more than the minimum. So when an interest pops up in a long, drawn out report, I try not to look at the lack of main points and instead at the obvious level of intensity my child put into detailing each fact. When he is writing for some newspaper at 3AM one day, I’m sure the urge to overspill his verbs and nouns will be dampened somewhat.
We are trying to get Naomi into completing multiplication and both kids are starting to plan their next podcast. The links below should include the page now. I’m also getting ready to try the Weaver curriculum from Alpha Omega, so if anybody reading this has tips, I’ve love to hear from you.

Looking unto the hills,
AP

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