I was on my way to a writing workshop yesterday and some guy started hitting on me.
His big line was: ‘What kind of writing do you do; kids books or real writing?’ I told him I wrote for adults and he grinned and replied: ‘so…real writing.”
In the moment I didn’t respond because I was busy trying to ignore him, but when we finally parted ways I was pissed. How dare he suggest that writing for children isn’t real writing? Where was his book? Where was his children’s book for that matter? And let’s not even talk about how bad it was as a pickup line because if I was a children’s writer I would have kicked him off his bike and as it was I kind of felt like doing that anyway.
It’s so easy to sit there and think that children’s writers have it easy, that they write such basic things that anyone could do it. But if you think that you’re dead WRONG.
Children’s writers are the people who give birth to literary worlds. They bring us up, nurture our dreams and imaginations, teach us lessons and rhymes. How would I know how to be a good friend if it weren’t for Charlotte’s Web? How would I learn about the places I could go without Dr. Seuss? How would I know what a blow-fat glow fish is without Mercer Mayer? I only wish My Little Pony – Friendship is Magic had existed when I was a kid, but I’m thrilled to be able to enjoy it now.
Children’s writers are so talented; they take complex ideas and reduce them to simple, elegant language. It’s a skill most writers strive to have but not many get to achieve.
So here’s to the children’s writers who feed our imaginations with their delightful talent, who help us grow and learn and see the world through colourful language and amazing imagery. Thank you. Even if that asshole pickup artist on the street doesn’t appreciate you, know that I do.