Thursday, June 11, 2015

confession from a middle grade writer

Maybe it’s because I have a three year old, but I’ve been thinking a lot about pretend play. As a writer, it’s my job to pretend. Day after day, sitting at my desk, I pretend my characters are real.

I also pretend my writer self does not exist.

Instead of a writer, I think of myself as an actress. I live in the skin of my protagonist. I dress like her. I eat like her. I talk in her voice. I keep a journal as if it were hers.

After that, I pick up a new profession. I’m a gardener and I tend to my words with patience and care. I trim the story where my garden has overgrown. I pull out weeds and I keep planting new things.

Then, with a first draft in hand, I turn into a surgeon. I cut open the manuscript with precision and confidence. I use my tools. I ask for help from other professionals. I remain calm. I finish the job.

Finally, when the writing day is done, I take a bow, dust off my hands, hang up my white coat, and go back to calling myself a writer.


  1. Wow, so beautifully put! Would you come in and describe this to my third graders? Pretending to wear different "hats" for the various parts of the writing process would really resonate with them!