Author of children’s book and conscious parenting coach, Vidya Murlidhar writes about her passion and creative inspiration on the Journal today. And answers the ever lingering question – why must kids write?
Creative Inspiration: Why must kids write?
I am part of a community called the “Isolation Journals” started by the lovely Suleika Jaoud. It’s a community that journals together to prompts given by various creative artists. This week the theme was Epistolary (about letters) journaling. I’ve always loved writing letters but it’s only when I read Suleika’s write-up on it, I understood why. Suleika wrote,
“If I think back on why letters have always held such power over me, it has something to do with the feeling of eavesdropping. But more than the drama, or anything nefarious, it’s the sense of intimacy and connection. There’s a sense that the writer has faith in the reader; the writer trusts that the reader is really listening.”Suleika Jaoud
When I write, whether it’s an email or a letter to a friend, a blogpost, or a postcard on Post Crossing, it’s an act I do in solitude and silence, with the belief that whoever reads what I write, even if it’s at a later time, is intently listening to it all. But before the reader, it’s the blank page or screen that holds space for me, clinging to every word, every thought, every feeling without the need to retort or thrust advice, without judgment, blame, or shame… it just listens, devours every murmur from my heart into the never-ending expanse of its blank terrain. “There’s always room for more” it beckons.
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Trained as a conscious parenting coach, I’ve been taught the healing power of bearing witness to another’s pain, of being a mirror, of being a container for another’s emotions. The act of holding unbiased nonjudgmental space is sacred and often what heals the other. And what I can do for a struggling parent is what the blank page does for me – it listens and embraces me as I am. This belief is what draws me to the page every single day.
Writing holds immense power. Even in a fictional story, the writer weaves in elements from their own life and experiences. It helps them understand themselves and the world better.
And this is also the advice I give parents time and again, it’s not about ELA or SAT scores. When a child makes friends with a blank page, they make a dependable friend, one who makes them feel seen, heard, and significant. It strengthens their voice and nudges them to believe in themselves so they shine brighter. Isn’t that much bigger than a 99 on an EOG exam?
~ Vidya Murlidhar
Vidya Murlidhar is the author of the children’s books Rinni and Bo and The Adventures of Grandpa and Ray. The written word has been her sacred anchor and her writing carries the flavor of the city she grew up in, Mumbai. Her essays have been widely published in parenting websites and magazines. When she’s not writing or coaching, she enjoys dancing and spending time with family, friends and her furry sidekick Leo. You can read all of her published work at vidyawrites.com