It’s International Children’s Book Day! How Reading and Writing Children’s Books Can Catalyze Your Creativity
I’ve had a lifelong love affair with children’s books, first as an avid reader, then as a writer over the last 20 years.
As a child, books were my happy place. I would fall into them for hours at a time — making new friends, traveling to new countries, learning about new things.
As an adult, writing for children has multiplied that joy.
There’s an indescribable pleasure in creating something that delights a child — watching their faces light up because they recognize themselves or their world on the page or because something you’ve created sparks their imagination.
And hearing a child repeat your words never gets old.
If you haven’t read a children’s book in a while, pick one up. Fall into a book on your favourite topic, your childhood hero, a country you’ve always wanted to visit.
Put yourself in a child’s frame of mind and soak it all in.
Even better than reading, writing a children’s book is a great exercise for getting unstuck creatively. The best part of my Writing for Children workshop was watching hardened professionals think about the world through a child’s eyes: excavating their memories, shaking up their imaginations and best of all bringing their unique points of view to the page.
Whatever the topic you’re passionate about — there’s a child who will benefit from it. Your kids’ book project doesn’t have to be commercially viable. It can just be something you do for posterity.
The biggest benefit is what you’ll get from the process: re-examining your past or your passion, sculpting it to reveal its universality, honouring the value of your own story.
Even if you’ve never thought of yourself as a children’s writer, give it a whirl. You just might spark your own imagination.
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