Sunday, July 2, 2017

Finding Your Inner Treehouse by Ann Haywood Leal

I wrote a major part of my first novel in sixth grade up in a tree house.  It was a bestseller -- mainly because it was free, and I chose the readers: my mom, my dad, Mrs. Rinear (my sixth-grade teacher), and my best friend, Leslie (who was also working on her first novel).  

Leslie and I wrote for hours in that plywood treehouse with the rope ladder and sliding pole.  We were unencumbered by parents and any distracting influences.  We were free of the kids who thought we were weird for wanting to write and read the summer away. 

In our writing community, we talk a lot about giving ourselves permission to write.  Sometimes we are so tied up with what is going on around us, that we put our own writing on the back burner, carving out minimal time to do it.  This can be so true in the distractions of summer.  There is so much to draw you away -- kids, the weather -- even the warm, inviting dirt in your garden -- or the cool breeze of the fire escape accompanied by a chilled chardonnay and a bag of hot Cheetos.  (Okay, now I'm obsessing over that fire escape scene, and I had to put my head back into this blog post!)
For those of you who are having difficulty fighting those summer distractions, I encourage you to find your inner treehouse.  Climb up that rope ladder and dive back in.  That fire escape will be waiting when you are done.


  1. My fire escape as a child was the sand at the beach front of our town's bay. It is still on my mind when I need some summer inspiration...those smells and sounds never quite leave. Thanks for the great reminder Annie.

  2. I love your treehouse so much!

  3. I agree--wish I had a treehouse like that!