Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Confessions of a Children's Writer....The Dirty Truth

I’m coming clean. I’ll admit it. When I was kid, I hated to read. Okay, there I’ve said it. This is hard to own up to, because I’m a writer, a writer of children’s literature. When I was a child I did love books, but hated to read them. Books were a mystery. They were someone else’s stories, someone else’s ideas. It was all so inviting, but whenever I sat down to read, the book became overwhelming and a lot of times downright boring. I just wasn’t interested, but I really wanted to be.

Now, there were extenuating circumstances. I had a lot of energy and sitting down with a book was asking a bit too much. I had a very disturbing home life, as some children do.  So, concentrating on a book was difficult for a kid stressed to the max. Abuse was a daily event. Survival at school was a primary issue (due to the violence), fear reigned at home and my teachers just viewed me as a problem. This is not the issue for every reluctant reader, but the result is the same no matter what the cause. WE DON'T READ!.

I understand the unenthusiastic reader because I used to be one. I used to think there was something wrong with me. I knew that reading made you smart…it was drilled into you by every force of nature. I believed I going to be stupid for the rest of my life, all because I didn’t like to read. I wanted to like to read. I wanted to be one of the smart kids. But survival was of the utmost importance. Isn't it always?
The reading monster, finally met his match. The love of books did not leave me. I have come to enjoy children’s books. Now, that I am older I have learned to love reading, but it still takes a lot to entertain me and grab my interest. I write with the reluctant reader in mind. I guess you could still call me a hard to engage reader. But as I writer, the story is much different.

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