I'm totally into these local SCBWI shop talks. I went to my second one monday night and it was very inspiring. With the writer's solitary world, and in the mother's child focused existence it held a two-fold outlet for me. I enjoy meeting new writing faces, as well as connecting with the writers I already know.
Monday night held more than socializing however. Peggy Thomas was there to give us a talk about writing nonfiction for kids. To be quite honest this is PRECISELY what I want to write! I have had it in my mind, but I didn't quite know how to say it. Listening to her tell her story and point out all the positives to writing nonfiction, gave me the AHA moment I have (quite unaware) been waiting for. And she made it all seem so easy and fun and wonderful to do!
When I am writing down my daily PiBoIdMo ideas, they are usually nonfiction ideas. I have never thought of myself as a fiction writer, but have given it a go because I kinda thought that's what everyone did, that's what people want, and well, that's what is "better." It turns out that nonfiction has simply been given a second rate name, that parents are more likely to buy nonfiction Picture books for their kids (I sure am!), and that there are more markets and openings for nonfiction books.
But rather more powerful than the outside reasons one ought to write nonfiction was the inner reason. One thing that Peggy said right off the bat that caught my attention immediately, was that she never really specialized in any one field, but that she was more of a student of many things. I feel exactly like this. My favorite thing about university was getting to take classes in all sorts of fields and areas. It was incredibly difficult to hone in and put my whole four year focus on one topic. And it took me two years, until I was forced, to do so. Even then I made up my own field, comprised of 2 or 3 others. Learning about new topics and people and ideas of the world is what I THRIVE on. Remember that rambling post about my so called resume? I have never been able to focus on one career in my life because there are just too many cool things to learn about.
Not to mention that I adore research. Seriously. I like sitting in the library, pouring over books, gleaning everything I can about one topic. I even like note taking. Crazy I know.
Thanks Peggy Thomas, for your inspiration! If finally awakening to the fact that I am/should be a writer was whisper of discovering my calling, then saying out loud that I should be writing nonfiction is a very loud shout of reality in my ear. It turns out, for me that my truth, and the truth of nonfiction, really might set me free.