Birthing Words

The lesson learned through my son’s writing experience.

Michael Henry
Writers’ Blokke
3 min readMay 12, 2021


No matter what the words on the page say, they are yours.

You do not need the permission of the world to write them. And that consent is not coming.

But, it would help if you had the willpower to break out of the ordinary, everyday routine of not writing. Because what you are currently writing is better than what you are thinking about writing.

Keep writing no matter what comes out. Stop worrying about the sentence structure or paragraph length while you type, and keep writing. Don’t think for a second about word count, if it makes sense, or even look at the screen while typing; let the words flow.

You are birthing words.

The other day, my son, writing a 600-word essay. He’s 12, intelligent, and will do anything to the limit of doneness and stop. Writing a paper is no different. He complained as he type — it was like pulling teeth; so painful.

Nevertheless, he hated the process of writing. Each word he typed was a countdown to getting done. Word count: “567”, “568”, … and a drawn-out “Five hundred and ninety eight.” Nothing was coming easy; everything felt forced, but he finished. Consequently, he was the only one in his class that did not have to do the entire project over. But I hated witnessing the laboring over something I love to do.

Later that evening, at the dinner table, my son and I spoke freely. I’m trying to rely on him that his attitude determines if it’s a struggle or fun. He goes on to say, “writing is not easy for me, like you — I never seen you write 600 words.” I didn’t take his observation as disrespectful; he was stating a fact. He never caught me writing, and as a writer, he’s never been to “bring your kid to work day.” But at 3 or 4 or 5 am, while he sleeps — I watching the word count myself. He has NO idea how; even writing this sentence feels like … pulling teeth for me too. Yet, I’ve learned to keep writing.

I am now writing in front of my children.

To stand in the fatherly role and help my son see that writing is not a chore to survive but a life worth creating (and can pay the bills), I must write when my son can see me, and not only at 4:30 am.

To my son’s point, he has never seen me:

  • Writing one sentence like fifty times.
  • Spending several minutes laboring over a word.
  • Reorganizing my sentences for clarity.
  • Editing my wacky grammar and spelling.
  • Erasing 1,000 words and start over.
  • Writing until my eyes can’t take any more strain.
  • Switching from a keyboard to a notebook.
  • Choosing punctuation.
  • Crying because my page is empty

As a parent, I realized, our children see us, hear every word, and understand their world through our expression of actions. But as a writing parent, I have neglected my children and not passing alone my life skills. And for this, I am deeply saddened.

Dear Son,

This morning, as I am typing these words, and he is sitting next to me. I am writing sentences for both of us and pray –you– understand what’s happening. It is the age-old gift of showing a child how to push past pain.

I am sharing the world of writing with you I’ve grown to love, and so can you.

Your Dad



Michael Henry
Writers’ Blokke

Writer + Creative + Family Guy. At the moment, I’m in the moment. — Mike Henry