Monday, May 12, 2008

Writing Monday: Getting Over Yourself

The Writer has just come back from the International Reading Association convention in Atlanta. While she was there, she walked around the convention floor. She talked to people in the booths and attended several sessions. Everyone talked about getting children to read, teaching children to read, writing books for children to read. It was all very, very serious.

The Writer came home thinking she needed to be very, very serious, too. She's always been serious about her work--

But not about anything else. Like feeding certain cats, for example.

--and about the impact of her work on young readers. But she realized that if she thinks about the end result of writing--her books being put into the hands of children, her books in context with children learning to read--she will freeze and never write another word. The best way to get over herself, she decided, was to go back to basics. Being the child she was.

That's not much of a stretch, you know.

It's not enough to observe children. Writers of children's books must find the child they once were and write for that child. So The Writer is going to play games with the child she once was. First they are going to color. Is there anything more childlike and non-serious than coloring? The Writer thinks all children's book writers should break out the crayons and get down on the floor and color. It's time to put the "child" back in writing for children.

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