Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blog #20 Don't Knock it till you try it~

One morning, outside the writer's workshop classroom, I was waiting with some other classmates for the room to open and they were reminiscing about games they played as kids. There was hopscotch, kick the can, jacks, and marbles. And of course baseball. But then the conversation took a funny turn, as conversations often do, toward the comparison to today. “Kids today don't play motor skills games, except with their thumbs.” “Kids don't go outside.” “They're not interested in those things.”
And I thought to myself, because I'm not a very outspoken person, “And you people think you want to write books for these kids you don't even respect?” They won't get very far. If there's no respect for the reader, and that's just what this is, there will be no respect for the writer. Judging kids today by your experiences without bothering to understand their experiences and perspectives is a mistake and it will ruin any writing you do for children.
Maybe that’s why they say writing for children is just like writing for adults, but harder. You have to set aside your superior attitudes about the way things should be or your misty-eyed, sugar-coated versions of the past being better than the future to do it well. There is no room for nostalgia in children's literature. Young readers want the best you've got.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lisa - Good points. I think I may have said those same words myself without realizing they're steeped in disrespect. Much appreciated.