Why Do Writers Write For Children? by J. Spence


Why bother?

Because we love children. Because as a child, we loved to read children’s books and remember how happy it made us. Because watching a child open a book and read the words you’ve written fills you with incomparable joy…

Obviously, the basic answer is we love it.

However there are others. It starts with our egos. We write to be published so that we can professionally satisfy our egos. Oh come on, you can’t sit there and deny the fact that you long to see your work between two covers, with you name on it.

Nothing beats being recognized as a professional writer. When you pick up your first book that has your name on it, that you wrote… the feelings that run through you are hard to describe. But your ego knows what I mean. Imagine for a moment, walking into the nearest book store and seeing your book on the shelves; or, there’s a press release and reviews of your latest novel in the local paper. The satisfaction of accomplishing something that you truly love is beyond comparison.

If not simply for our ego’s sake, there is Money. We write to become a professionally PAID writer. After all that hard work, revisions and more hard work, who wouldn’t want to be paid? However, writing children’s books may not necessarily pay the bills. You still can make a living at writing. I’m a certified Freelance Writer (I like how it looks all capitalized), and I make a living writing outside of Children Literature too. Let me tell you–the rewards are wonderful, the work is tremendously time consuming.

My life situation allows me to write daily and after everyone has gone to bed but I force myself to live by the rule that family is first. If there is a family event or outing, writing waits. Do I stop becoming a writer when this happens? No. Now, you are really wondering what the heck am I talking about!

When I’m not physically writing, I’m… collecting. I’m collecting information, situations, conversations, potential titles, story ideas, children dialogue and more… I carry with me a small notebook and constantly jot things down as they are collected. Once a writer, always a writer.

After money, there are the connections. Connections can come in the form of a writing instructor job, or seminar leader, workshops… writing. There’s film script writing, or television. Of course, you need to be published first, and usually for these bigger careers you’ll need more than half a dozen publications.

My goal for Iggy Squiggles could eventually lead her into television, or a toy line. But it will take a lot of work. A LOT OF WORK.  I’m still in the early development stages…

When you’re done drooling over the idea of money (since getting rich off writing is next to impossible), there is always the legacy factor to consider. Some authors want their works left for their children and their children and so on… What better gift to pass on than a legacy of written Children Literature? Every page contains part of your soul and every cover shows your name.

Finally, and maybe not so invigorating as the others, there’s Self-Expression. The ability to put into words, down on paper, how I feel or think is truly a gift. Some people boast that they cannot not write. I think I’m one of them. They get up, grab their coffee or tea and into the office they go–to write. Or, they come home after a long tedious day at work and into the office they go–to write. It’s 1:00 a.m. and yup, there they are, sitting in a darkened house, everyone’s sleeping but they are… writing. The need to get thoughts out of head and onto paper overrules all else. 

The desire to share these stories with children and adults alike is uncanny and something that can’t be denied.


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