Why I Write for Children by Michelle Medlock Adams
We asked each of the 14 authors on our current roster a variation of the question, Why do you write children’s books? and we loved their answers. We think you will too! If you missed the previous posts you can read them here, here, here, and here. We will continue sharing the authors’ thoughts with you each week through our blog. So, get comfy, grab a glass of sweet tea, and be inspired.
When I graduated from Indiana University with a journalism degree, I couldn’t wait to tackle those hard news stories and make a difference in the world. I had lots of confidence and curiosity—both personality traits needed to become an ace reporter—and so I got my chance writing for a daily newspaper in Southern Indiana. I started working the Police Beat, which was just one step above the obituary writer, and eventually secured a position covering city government and education.
I spent five years in those news reporter trenches before God led our family to Texas, and I began writing features and personality profiles for an international ministry magazine. Little did I know that move would change my life forever.
After a little while on the job, my boss came to me asked, “You have kids, right?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Great, then you can write some kids stories for our children’s page.”
I remember thinking, “Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I know how to write for them.”
But…I was a journalist so I began researching the world of children’s literature and the craft of writing children’s books. The more I researched, the more I fell in love with this whimsical, enchanting genre.
That was more than 20 years and 90 books ago, but I’ve been lovesick ever since.
Creating stories for children—stories that teach, entertain, encourage and inspire—it’s a noble calling. It’s a privilege that I don’t take for granted, and one that I cherish in my heart.
But I learned early on, not everyone considers writing for children as important or as exciting as I do. I’ll never forget the first time I encountered this truth. I attended a faculty mixer on the eve of a large writers conference, meeting my colleagues and chatting about the industry, when one woman asked, “So, what is it that you’ll be teaching?”
I smiled and said, “I’m teaching a continuing class about the wonderful world of writing for children.”
“Oh,” she mumbled. “You write children’s books…that’s nice.”
With that, she quickly turned her attention to a fellow novelist, and I stood there wondering what had just happened. Truly, I wasn’t as offended as I was shocked—shocked that she didn’t share my love and enthusiasm of writing for children. But I couldn’t fault her. Not really.
After all, she wasn’t called to write for kids. How could she possibly understand?
You see, I also write for adults, but my heart only pounds with enthusiasm when I am writing board books, picture books, middle grade and YA manuscripts.
Why? Because I get to transport children to far-off lands and make-believe worlds. I get to encourage children to dream a little bigger, laugh a little harder, feel a little deeper, and care a little more. And, most importantly, as a writer of inspirational children’s books, I get to introduce them to my Jesus and show them just how much He loves them.
What could be more important or exciting than that?
C is for Christmas is available in hard cover and soft cover in our Little Lamb Books online shop.