Why I Write For Children by Patti Richards
We asked each of our current Little Lamb Books authors 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 in our Author Inspiration summer blog series, you can find and read them all right here. Today is our final post in the series and we hope you have enjoyed hearing from each of these amazing authors who have so graciously shared their inspirations with us over the summer months. So, get comfy, grab a glass of sweet tea, and enjoy!
I think a great deal about what pushes me to spend the majority of each day writing. I’ve been a writer for so long now that it really is who I am rather than just what I do; and it is intrinsically woven into my faith. So much so that it’s impossible to see where one thing ends and the other begins.
Because I write for both the mainstream and the Christian market, I’ve honestly never thought of myself as a Christian writer. I am a Christ follower who is a freelance writer/author, and my faith informs everything I do. If I cannot separate who I am from what I do, then I cannot put my faith and my work in separate boxes. For me, it just doesn’t work that way.
So that means that each story I write has a God-spark in it somewhere. Stories like my upcoming picture books with Little Lamb Books, MRS. NOAH, and MILLIE’S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE, are each based around a well-known Bible story with a twist. While my story, Cupine’s Perfect Dance is all about loving yourself and what you bring to the world. I also enjoy writing about nature because I see God’s hand in every detail of creation. I recently sold a poem to a children’s magazine about the changing of the seasons and how critters and people get ready for winter. And I’m currently working on a piece about trees that grow from nuts and how everything the tree needs to become what it’s supposed to be is contained in the nut you hold in your hand. No matter the market, I want everything I write to be a reflection of God at work in the world.
Not every story idea (God whisper) that comes into my head and heart becomes a sellable story. Sometimes those ideas are meant only as an exercise to strengthen my faith and improve my writing. My first attempt at novel writing was loosely based on an experience I had as a teenager with two people that I loved most in the world at the time. They both hurt me deeply, and I had to find a way through that experience and it was hard.
I had stuffed those feelings away in a corner of my heart for a long time, and suddenly, when I was around 40, they all came spilling out in a draft of a novel. After I got that first draft down, I shared it with my then critique group and my very best friend. It was raw and awful in all the ways that a first draft should be. And once I’d shared it with people I trusted, it was as if the need to do anything else with it vanished. I still have it saved on my computer, and I’ll never delete it, but I also know that I’ll never revise it or submit it. The whisper came, the words came, the process of being vulnerable and open with others happened, and I came away from that experience stronger and able to move forward and leave a big part of that hurt behind me for the first time ever. God used that process to grow me as a person and as a writer, and that was a great gift.
So, what inspires me to write the stories I write? When God helps you see the miraculous in the everyday, you never have to wait long for the next idea!
Mrs. Noah will be Patti’s first picture book with Little Lamb Books and is set to be released in Fall 2021.