In today’s entry, Gay Hendricks quotes from a Graham Greene novel in which an elderly priest discusses what he’s learned from a lifetime of hearing confessions. His word of wisdom?

There’s no such thing as a grown-up.

No matter how much we change as adults, we are still the same person who experienced our childhood. Very few people completely change their outlook or personality, and even then, that change is driven by a desire not to be who we were as children. Our childhood experiences are often the key to our adult choices and behaviors.

Unlike many of our daily exercises – which focus on our motivation and determination to write – this one has a direct connection to our creative writing.

If you haven’t already, imagine the characters in your current work as children. Imagine what they looked like, what they hoped for, and what they feared.

When your characters are in conflict with each other, imagine them having this same conflict as children. Was one character accustomed to getting his way? Was another a peacemaker or someone who acquiesced easily? How are their adult reactions driven by what they learned and experienced as children? How have they changed or not changed since they were kids?