So, at this conference last weekend, as at every children's writing conference I've gone to recently, the message - when it's not about writing "high-concept" novels that are "edgy" and have provocative "hooks" and fit snugly within some marketplace niche - is about having a social media presence. Makes sense, I guess. I'm sure my daughter and her friends can barely remember a time before Facebook and instant messaging. But it does lead me to wonder how some very private writers would have fared if modern social media demands had been placed on them.
Emily Dickinson's blog:
I sewed a button - on my glove.
I made a pot - of tea,
Then locked myself up - in my room -
This day - exhausted me -
Edgy, right? (Oh, lighten up, Emily. It was funny.) But what about those of us who truly want to write for kids but don't think in high-concept terms? For whom creating a blog, much like this one, marks a thrilling leap forward into the worlds of technology & social interaction? Why am I asking this question when I already know the answer? We are destined to either not get published at all, or, if we're lucky, to join the ranks of midlist authors marching off into genteel obscurity.
Sorry. I don't mean to be all gloom-and-doom. But maybe I'm just being realistic. Maybe the generational divide between writers like me and readers like my daughter is just too wide and deep to cross. But thinking that way gets me nowhere. I have to keep on taking that same leap of faith that I took when I started this blog. There's a chance that what I write will get read, and I can never let go of that chance. And neither can you.