Writing for Children and Young Adults: Living and Writing

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For those of us who’ve fully embraced the writing life, the idea of “writing” and “living” as separate categories doesn’t always make sense. Writing is life, right?

Absolutely, but that synthesis doesn’t always flow as well as we’d hope.

Many of us wear multiple hats. I’m a writer, an author speaker, a writing teacher, and the author-curator of a children’s-YA book imprint. Maybe you’re writing while focused on elder care or child care or a day job. What’s more, writing children’s books for publication is a demanding artistic pursuit that comes with all the responsibilities of running a small business.

I believe in balance. I don’t always achieve it, but I do believe in it.

So, what am I getting at? Try for the balance.

No, you don’t have to write every day. But you do have to write. It’s not selfish to treat your writing like a job, even before you’re actively publishing. Don’t let others unduly infringe on it. Don’t let anyone assume that you can take off whenever. If you project that you take it seriously, the people around you are more likely to follow suit.

If you’re blocked, go do something. As long as you keep producing, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break now and then to embrace the rest of your life.

If you were a painter, everything you had ever experienced would be on your palette . . . right next to everyone you’ve ever met or dreamed about. Give yourself permission to load up on new paint now and then. Read. Play. And good luck with that work in progress.