Friday, January 2, 2015

Life Lessons for Writers—Remember to Nurture the Child Within

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

I like to begin each new year by reflecting on my past. I do this hoping to learn how I can make life better for myself, my loved ones, and for everyone I influence in some way.

This year, with the help of Mark Twain and Great Danes, it became clear that one of the most important things I can do—that we can do—is nurture our inner child.

Mr. Twain used Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn to show me how our most profound lessons are best learned when we see life through the eyes of a child. In the beginning, Tom and Huck focused on how to manipulate life to their advantage with little regard for the consequences. But their adventures taught them the benefits of self-sacrifice and serving the needs of others. Often adversity taught them their most valuable lessons.

Watching a young and an old great dane interact, I noticed the young one relentlessly tried to get her way, no matter how many times she was told “no.” The old dane, however, had heard “no” so often that she no longer tried to assert her will. Her desires have been replaced by those of her owners, and they aren’t nearly as fun as the ones she originally had. This can happen to us if we don’t tenaciously protect our hopes and dreams.

We live in a world that understands our desires can be manipulated to become the desires it has for us. We’re bombarded with messages that strongly suggest we take care of number one by manipulating the world around us for our own benefit, with little regard for the consequences. Before long, we find we’re all grown up and pursuing a career primarily to obtain all those things the world said would make us happy. And we keep chasing the happiness myth until we’ve suppressed the inner child who cries out for freedom—freedom from the trappings of the world—freedom to be free spirits we’re created to be.

Fortunately, our inner child never completely dies. With deliberate care, we can revive our childlike spirits and regain the innocence and freedom of youth. Think about the times you were most happy and you’ll discover it was those times when you allowed your inner child to take control.

My plea to all writers is, “Save the child within.” Write in such a way that keeps the dreams of youth alive. You can do this whether you write fiction or non-fiction. Simply appeal to the youthful emotions we all have. I’m not suggesting we promote irresponsibility or selfishness, just feed our readers’ desires to live with childlike abandon and hope. Nourish the playful, yet responsible person who lives inside us all.

And by saving the children in our readers, we’ll save the child in us too.

What do you do to save the children or save the child? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family,, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.

When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.

“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”


  1. I keep my inner child very nurtured. I've reach the age where I don't care what people think. I dress like I feel and say what I think. I think when we become senior citizens, we throw off those concerns that inhibit us. At least I have. LOL

  2. I'm with you, Ane. Trying to please others is exhausting, so the Lord blesses us with an "I don't care" attitude that frees us to focus on the important. I back to wearing jeans most of the time now and loving it. Did you know you can wear a pair of jeans a few times before you have to wash them? LOL