Saturday, November 7, 2009

In Their Words

Who knew that being a writer meant becoming a people-watcher. Well, for me it did. And there are so many kinds of things I notice. Polls that I take in my head.

Here are some of the things I've noticed:

"You look too young to be an author." They're also the ones who don't buy my book. They're usually people in their mid-fifties. My only guess is that they don't know or care who Stephanie Meyer is. Confession- she's my age. She's actually one year younger. I wonder how many people tell her she's too young to be an author.

Yesterday, a lady asked a man, "Do your boys like books?" He answered. "Yeah, we don't read at all. We wait for the movie to come out." I was so shocked at the conversation that I wrote it down, word for word. I don't think they thought I was paying any attention to them as they walked by. Who knew there were grown ups out there who equated watching movies to reading books? It's like he thought that reading simply gave you the same entertainment value as watching a movie and watching a movie took so much less effort that it wasn't worth reading. What kind of a world would we have if everyone felt that way? Scary.

On the other end of the spectrum, I meet adults and kids who want to be writers. All of them share an enthusiasm that is kind of contageous. It's hard not to love what you do when you're around other people who love it too. And, here's my observation about it- the older they are, the more excited about writing a book they are. Interesting. It's almost like the more work they have done and the more they have learned how very difficult the whole process is, the more they have jumped in with both feet and are loving it.

And, last but not least, here's a tribute to the kids who wrote their thoughts on a thank you card. These are in their own words..... "Thanks for coming to our class and for being awesome. I'm planning on reading your book." Wow. I didn't know I was awesome, but thanks.

"Thank you fo coming ta our skool! Yo book looks kind a wicked... I like it." I'm hoping this guy meant to sound cool. Otherwise, he's his english teacher's worst nightmare.

"Thank you for coming and talking about dreams and ways to achieve them. It was really fun."

"Thanks for coming to our class and I am going to use your advice to make a good story next time I have to."

"Thank you for coming to Riverglen! I learned that reading can help succeed my dreams."

"Thank you sooo much. Your book cover & the parts you read of your book were great."

Aren't these kids great! And I thought I'd be nervous to talk to a bunch of kids. Not even. It is so much fun.

At least I know there is a whole new generation of people who are learning that reading has value and that it will take them places. That's a very powerful thought.


Kerren said...

Sounds like you've had a memorable week! It would seem that all of your experiences and observations are giving you more "material" for writing topics. Life is so amazing! You're amazing!

Laura said...

Thanks Kerren. I didn't mean for this post to sound like a brag session- actually the opposite. I feel like I'm watching the world unfold and learning what people think- for better or worse. So many things I'll never be able to change. The most interesting part is that the people I have the best chance of influencing is the kids- and in the end, maybe they're the most important ones. They're the future.

At least I know that not everyone has a bad attitude about books, but I wonder how the kids are doing whose parents see no value in reading.

In the end, I know I have so much to learn. So much I want to learn. I guess that's what life is all about.

L.T. Elliot said...

It's very powerful to inspire reading and writing in the lives of children OR adults. I think the novel is the last great connection. It's a moment shared between two people who never meet but between them, an amazing experience and insight happens.
You're doing great things, Laura. Believe it.

Melissa said...

Loved your post, especially love your comments. You are doing something amazing.

About people watching: Don't you think we learn so much? a mom texting while her daughter sits nervously waiting for a flu shot, a couple holding hands while pushing a cartful of groceries on a Saturday morning- together! The couple screaming at each other in the parking lot... So many opportunities to learn and teach our kiddos.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

These are so great! I love that you document comments and what you are seeing.