Who is Today’s Child?

My big kids humored me a few years ago with one last photo with Santa!

Every time I write a new story, I think about the child that might read it. I think some about the current children’s book market, what’s new and what’s coming down the pike in a few years, but I think more about the child that might one day pick up a book that bears my name.

I think about her a lot. 

Is she tall? Short? Plump? Thin? How does she see herself when she looks in the mirror? Are her jeans too tight or not the right style? Does she have a favorite doll? Stuffed animal? Game? Is she so smart it scares her sometimes and is she afraid to raise her hand in class and give the answer. . . again? Does she believe in magic and fairies and Santa Claus even though everyone else stopped believing long ago? Does she feel like she could fly if only she could just find a way to grow a pair of wings?

And what about him?

Is he skinny? Short? Fast? Slow? Does he hate baseball? Does he love football? Does he love hunting? Does he want to learn to cook or plant flowers or sing? Is he afraid of spiders just like his sister even though he isn’t supposed to be? And what if he never likes reading? So what? Will he ever be able to sit still in class, even for a minute? And what if he can’t? Will he still feel OK in his own skin? What if he likes wandering in the woods better than just about anything else? What if he feels he could fly if only he could just find a way to grow a pair of wings?

We hear an awful lot these days about what we should be writing about. What teachers want for their students, what parents want for their kids and what society says we should be giving them instead of something else. And all of those are very good things. But I didn’t start this very long journey for any other reason than to write for that girl or that boy. I truly believed, and still do, that simple stories with universal truths that meet kids where they are and take them where they need to be are the best kind for growing amazing little people into amazing big adults. Stories of compassion, kindness, goodness and love, woven with adventure, courage and fantasy about heroes kids can trust, believe in and identify with. Those are the kinds of stories I gave my own children, and all three of them have turned into amazing big adults ready to take on the world.

Having the big empty nest I mentioned in a previous post has given me time to think about the why of things. . . why we make the choices we make, why this world is the way it is; why children seem to be busier than ever, have more access to programs and experiences and opportunities than ever and are still killing themselves at an alarming rate with prescription opioids and heroin. Why? Why aren’t they satisfied and happy? I have a few theories, but that would take its own blog post.

So I’m going on a little journey to discover as much as I can about the children for whom I write, and I’m starting by reading C.S Lewis’s Letters to Children and Other Worlds: Essays and Stories. I’ll be sharing what I learn in a series of blog posts over the next few months, not every week, but as often as I can. I think it will be a fascinating journey. I hope you’ll join me.

 


Sensibility- For writers, not knowing your audience could find you producing stories something akin to a broccoli birthday cake or a Thanksgiving turkey made entirely of cheese.

Sense- Get to know your audience by reading both timeless books and what is trending now.


What are some of your favorite books on writing or writing for children?

Aside

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Goodreads

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,414 other followers

Follow Sensibility and Sense on WordPress.com
The Winged Pen

It takes a flock to get a story aloft.

Angie Karcher

Writing Children's Books

Marirose Sanborn-Smith

Young Adult Fantasy Writer in Michigan

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

Dawne Webber

A place to confabulate.

Erin Fanning

Author of mythic fiction, nature essays, oodles of short stories, magical knitting, hi-lo novels, and guidebooks too.

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

lisawroble

wonderings and wanderings in a writer's life

melissariddlechalos

creative writing for the f..f..f...FUN of it

lisarosewrites

Swimming from Shalom to Shazizzle

Blogzone

Practical tips to help your writing dreams come true...

Writing for Kids (While Raising Them)

Blog & website of children's book author Tara Lazar

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)log

Sharing and Celebrating Picture Books Since 2009

Bri Bruce Productions

Design | Publishing | Photography | Art

Author Sandy Carlson (of Michigan)

writers, writing encouragement, writing ideas, craft of writing

revkev43

an integration of society and religion

Michelle Bradford

DIGITAL | DESIGN | INK | PAPER | MEDIA

JulieHedlund.com

Author, Freelance Writer

%d bloggers like this: