Writing has everything to do with chickens. At least that’s how it feels as I embark on my new homeschooling/backyard chicken adventure. Have you ever noticed that our language is inundated with chicken references and idioms? That was part one of my chicken unit for the kids: Find and define as many chicken sayings as you can. They came up with 82! Chickens have personalities, and preferences, and they are curious. Who knew? No wonder there are so many picture books about chickens!
So with the help of my chickens, I’ll tell you about 3 tips for hatching stories.
1. Fly the coop. Chickens need to leave the coop and get some light if they want to produce eggs. That’s why a chicken run and time away from the coop in essential.
Sometimes as writers, we feel cooped up or overly scheduled. This squelches the writing juices and we can’t produce. Don’t fill your life so full that writing isn’t possible. Write in the treehouse, at the library, in a park, or on a swing. You’ll lay your best eggs when you fly the coop!
2. Ignore the pecking order. I was shocked when I saw three of our chickens pecking Cuckoo, whose stubby beak makes a darling kissy face so different from the others. After three weeks of pecking and isolation for Cuckoo, all four of the chickens seem to be getting along better. Still, some of the chickens clearly rule the roost.
As writers we may feel like we are at the bottom of the pecking order, especially after the gazillionth rejection! Use your experience of rejection and pour it into your stories. Write the unexpected, make the underdog the hero, and ignore the pecking order.
3. Do a chicken dance! I never realized the chicken dance was a real thing until I watched Clucktrina puffing out her chest, clucking and strutting and celebrating how wonderful she was. Doing a chicken dance gets your blood flowing, makes you laugh and fills you with confidence. You have written a wonderful manuscript and revised it until it sings. You’ve produced a good egg, and that alone is a reason to dance!
I’m off to feed the chickens...Ahem. I mean, I'm off to write a story. And that alone gives me something to crow about!
Kirsti Call is a homeschooling mom of five. Her debut picture book, The Raindrop Who Couldn't Fall, came out last December. Her family band, Calling Out, plays songs written by her children. She contributes to Writer's Rumpus, and Kids are Writers. If you visit her house, you might find her doing a chicken dance! You can find out more about her at www.kirsticall.com.
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