Child Writes Then Speaks

The 9 year olds write freely without stopping for fifteen minutes, surrendering to the flow of pencil across paper.


One boy turns to me and says.“I feel weird.”

And I say, “You feel weird?”

And he continues. “It’s like jumping out of a plane and you don’t know if your parachute is going to open or even if you’ve got a parachute and you’re dropping down, down, down……”

And I say, “Everyday when I start to write I feel like I’m walking along a tightrope across a great canyon and I can’t see the other side and I try not to look down. I just try to keep stepping, one baby step at a time.”

“Have you ever fallen?” he wants to know.

“Many times.” I reply. “Each time I never know if I will survive. And look, I’m still here.”

from “A Writer’s Magic Notebook” by Diane Samuels pub. British Library, 2006