Writing kids books isn’t always easy. And once a manuscript is written, getting it sold isn’t always a walk in the park either. A publishing house I submitted to said they buy 7 picture books a year out of the 30,000 submissions they receive. The process from start to in-the-hands of young readers , could take years. So…why do we write?
I usually answer that it’s the Life-Artistry concept of passion to purpose. A need as much as a want. Dharma..doing our life work. And that’s all true. But there’s more, and it’s a “littler” reason.
Over the weekend I visited my nieces and nephew. I brought them my newly released books. I read one out loud to Brinkley…The Kid and the Chameleon. It was the first time I’d read that published book to the intended audience; the first time I’d witnessed a reaction to that book from a child. I began reading. She wanted me to keep going (even when others were playing on iPads.) Then after I had finished, amidst the excitement of everything around her, she sat by herself and read it again. Relatively speaking, she’s a newer reader. Because relatively speaking, she’s a newer human. At the age of 7, the world that books open for her is just beginning. And as I watched her read through the pages, stopping to take in the amazing darling illustrations of Joanie’s, I felt a mix of emotions, from a tremendous responsibility for what we are writers put into print to be taken in by impressionable minds and hearts, to a sense of great honor, for being a gateway into the world of literature for little ones. As writers, we never really know how a book we’ve written might stay with the reader even after the covers are closed.
That night, after we’d said our good byes and driven the two hours back home, my brother txt to let me know. “Thanks again, Sheri. Brinkley is sleeping with the book under her pillow.”
Yep…it’s the little things.