"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

8/9/13

Writing for Children

 This post is part of Patty Wysong's
  A to Z meme. This week's letter is "C."
A to Z blog hop at Patterings. 
 I've always had this thing for kids. Anyone younger than I am, it seemed, has a special place in my heart. Sometimes I think I can relate better to children than adults.

Even when I was a child myself, most of my friends were a few years younger than I was.The next door neighbor boy was just my age when I was growing up. But I played with his sister - three years younger. I can think of at least two other families I grew up with/around/near where this was the case. I even taught at the elementary school level briefly (high school and junior high too, but that was even MORE briefly).

My son last year. He's NOT reading on that Kindle!
Maybe that's why, after close to three dozen years enjoying writing, and close to two dozen trying to do it for publication of some sort, I'm finding my writing focus turning to youngsters - whether they be picture-book age, on the cusp of the teen years, or somewhere in between.

My daughter reading to a therapy dog at the library
Maybe it's because both of my children are in that age range (though my son will be escaping into "teenhood" in a few short months), and their opinions about reading are so different. My nearly-ten-year-old daughter LOVES to read. My son? Not so much. Who can help me from wanting to write something my daughter will savor, and my son willl at least tolerate? (wink)

Some people think writing for kids (especially young ones) is easier than writing for adults. They're wrong. I think it's HARDER to write for little ones - to keep their attention AND that of their parents, to teach,
delight, entertain, engage - especially in this modern world of instant gratification, sound bytes, and the lure of screens.

So, while I'm still working on a few projects for other, "older" age groups, my writing passion - at least for now - is toward children. They, and I, have so much to learn. :)

WHAT'S YOUR PASSION?

Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths

Read more "C" posts, or link up with one of your own!
 

20 comments:

  1. I can't imagine writing for kids. I have a hard enough time writing for adults! Maybe it's just my perception, but I think girls are more avid readers than boys? I know my wife reads like crazy!

    Thanks for posting Joanne!

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    1. I know the girls being avid readers is true in OUR family - but I also know a few boys my daughter's age who are avid readers - and a few girls who hate it. You're probably right in general, though.

      Thanks for stopping by, Tom!

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  2. I attempted writing a kid's book once. Once. Did not go well and I quickly learned that's not my area. But it's awesome to see people who are called for them.

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    1. It's definitely a calling. Thanks for stopping by, J'nell :)

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  3. My mom and I love to read, but my brother and father did not. I bet it would be hard to write at a child's level as you would have to be so careful to use words for that age group. But I bet it's fun!

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    1. It is hard, especially for books they will read themselves - with picture books, you have a bit more leeway. But yes - it's VERY fun - for me anyway :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I think I'm learning my passion is teen girls, but I don't write for them. Might have to change that.

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    1. Praying for direction, Ginger :)

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  5. I agree! I think writing for kids would be a lot harder! My passion is CR, sometimes CRS, bringing ladies to that life-changing encounter with Christ! I love that He gives us all different passions to reach all different people!

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    1. The world would certainly be boring if we all did the same thing, eh? I'm with you, Susan - thanking Him for giving each of us our different gifts!

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  6. I feel passionate about children as well - particularly about sharing the love of Jesus. I see so many hurting children within a backyard's reach. Whether we write for them, teach them or throw an arm around them at church, we can all influence these little ones for the sake of Christ.

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    1. Absolutely, Karen - it's cliche, but those kids are our future. Praying as we BOTH reach out to them with the life-saving and -giving message of Jesus.

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  7. So wonderful that you found your calling, Joanne! I adore children and taught 2nd grade Sunday School for years, but my passion is writing inspy romance. Think I'll stick to that. :-)

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    1. Love how God gives each of us our own inspiration. :) Thanks for stopping by, Dora!

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  8. My first love has always been writing for children. It's a shame it's so difficult to break into that genre for fiction. Write on!

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    1. Thanks, Karla! I've heard that - but I figure if it's where God wants me, it will happen. If it isn't - well, something else will come up :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I love your children's stories, Joanne!! Who would've ever guessed that the genre quarter would do so much?? :-)

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    1. Thanks, Patty :) I NEVER would have guessed it - but it's true! Love ya :)

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  10. I have the joy of watching our 4 1/2 year old begin to sound out words on his own. His excitement for learning can hardly be contained. I agree that writing for children must be a special calling - and a great need! Your love for the Lord and His gift of writing can only be a great partnership for our little ones!

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    1. I love wtching little ones learn. SUCH a blessing! Thanks for the encouragement, and for stopping by, Nancy!

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Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!


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