Can children write down their souls?

Wesley writing down his soul

Bridgitt, a young mother in a Writing Down Your Soul teleclass, sent me this amazing photo of Wesley, her four-year old, throwing himself into writing down his soul.

And this story:

Shortly after beginning my daily soul-writing practice, my four-year old son Wesley asked if he could draw in my journal. I told him, “This journal is just for Mommy, but how would you like to have your very own journal?” This was very intriguing to him, so we went right out and got journals for Wes and his little brother Owen. They chose black imitation-leather notebooks (because my notebook is black) and blue pens (because blue is their favorite color.) This past week, Wes asked me three times for his “journal” all on his own!

The boys’ souls have much to say; I really don’t have to even guide them. Owen mostly scribbles in his journal and attempts to draw the letter O. It seems no matter how much time I give him, I have to pry the journal from his little hands as he wails at the end of each session. I am guessing because he is nearly two-years old, his soul has a lot to work out on paper!

Wesley, on the other hand, is very orderly with his journal and has a variety of ideas to express – sometimes scribbling, other times little drawings, often dictating dreams or memories for me to document, and occasionally asking me to draw a picture so he can color it. Yesterday, he “wrote” about his toys – his Lego’s, his slinky, and “all my other toys.” After about 10-15 minutes, he tucked his blue pen in the pocket at the back and declared, “OK, I’m done now. I writed all I needed to, for now.” What intuition!

I love this picture. This is us, all of us, throwing our souls on to the page. People often ask me how you know when to stop writing for the day. I always tell them you’ll know when to end. You’ll have a feeling, a knowing, that this enough for today. Or as Wesley puts it, “I writed all I needed to, for now.”

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3 Comments on “Can children write down their souls?”

  1. becky nielsen says:

    I love this picture and story! I just spent a week with three of our grandchildren on vacation on an island and had them journal most days. It wasn’t quite the same thing as this but I was delighted at how they took to it – a 4 yo, 6 yo, and 14 yo. I haven’t written much in front of them before – usually wait till I’m alone; but will change that, perhaps, when I can – the modelling would be important for them.

  2. Bridgitt Chaffin says:

    Thank you for sharing our story! We can truly say your book has touched our whole family! I am loving this whole experience! 🙂

  3. Katie Saylor says:

    What a wonderful story! It just goes to show you that this practice is so easy to learn that anyone can do it. I think I’ll give it a try with the kids in my life. It is such a profound experience and kids definately have much in their souls that they want expressed. Thank you for sharing and I writed all I need to for now!


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