I think I’m a writer. I really do. That’s why I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Well, I obviously write a blog too that’s really not for kids. But, I think I’m a children’s book writer or that at least I could be.
It’s so challenging to figure out how to be a writer of children’s literature. I have this vague understanding that I need to set some goals for myself, but no grounding from which to base those goals. In most of my work I’ve been able to find a clear goal. The group I’ve worked for has wanted to stop strip-mining, cut the use of pesticides, or teach people to organize in their own communities. In this situation I find myself looking at it and saying, “Okay, I know I want to write children’s literature, but what is that? Who’s my audience? What would success be?” It seems so broad and I’m not sure where I land in the giant world that includes everyone from Dr. Seuss to J.K. Rowling.
Yes, I do recognize that it’s a bit much to consider my own work to even be in the same universe as either of them as I’ve never published a book. I must admit that I do find something wishful to dream about in the story of Rowling once struggling to make ends meet and then publishing Harry Potter to become a billionaire.
There must be somewhere to start here, just a few words each day or even each week, an exercise of the mind. It will appear and grow I am sure. For now it remains on paper, but keep your eyes open. Maybe it will show up in cyberspace sometime soon.