Friday, February 10, 2012

Children's Writing: Where Do You Find Your Inspiration?

I've often been asked what got me started writing children's books. My short answer is grandchildren.

Generalizing from my own experience, it seems to me when grandchildren come along, they must make grandparents think, say and do things we never thought, said or did before. Or maybe, more accurately, no one ever paid much attention to us in our thinking, saying and doing. Then we come face to face with the world's best audience and our lot is cast.

Oh, sure, the seeds are often sewn when our children are born. Yes, many parents, too, are authors of child-inspired stories. After all, everything is brand new and babies may fall into a fit of giggling at the strangest faces and noises that parents sometimes stumble upon purely by accident. Who wouldn't feel compelled to take advantage of those brief moments of bliss during what seems like years of endless ... manic... sleepless... nights.

OK. So, that part only lasts for a few weeks or months. But at the time, let's say 3:00 a.m. midway through two weeks of collic or thrush or unexplained fever, it feels like years. If inspiration eludes you during those heady days and nights, worry not. Before you know it, your kids are bringing their kids home for baby sitting or sleep-overs or summer vacations. And now you have the time to collect all the bits and pieces of material just made for the writing of stories.

What do you use as grist for your writing mill? Are you a new parent, a grandparent, a teacher, a librarian, a coach, a pediatric nurse? Lots of possibilities for tale telling in the midst of all that life experience going on around you.

What's your inspiration? Inquiring authors want to know! Besides, the suspense is killing me....

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