Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We're All in This Together

The lovely Michelle (Blogger in Transit) is hosting a blog hop this week. The theme? Ubuntu. What is Ubuntu?

Good question. I had to Wikipedia the word myself!

Michelle describes Ubuntu as, "the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others; that if we are to accomplish anything in this world, it will in equal measure be due to the work and achievement of others."

It's all about people. The concept is that society itself gives us our humanity. We're surrounded by human beings, which makes us more human.

My first thought was of a blog I'd read only last week from writer S.P Bowers. She mentions a quote from Dale Carnegie about novelists that says that if an author doesn't like people, readers won't like that author's stories. We, as writers, MUST like people.

Fiction writers are expected to strike a delicate balance between being reclusive and being social. We need to be able to spend hours alone with nothing for company but a computer and the characters we're creating. But we also need to be able to head out into society and interact with other human beings.

I'm now in my fifth month as a full-time freelancer. Because much of my work involves writing articles and blogs for a variety of clients, I do have regular interactions with people, primarily through e-mail. However, none of these interactions inspires me to write middle grade fiction. To be fair, though, my day job working with adults between the ages of 30 and 70 didn't go very far in inspiring middle grade fiction, either.

For middle grade authors, it's important to spend time around tweens. Since most tweens want little to do with grown-ups, this remains a challenge. Teachers, parents of teens, librarians...we're all just grown-ups. We aren't in their world. We can do school visits, but we're still just visiting authors. We'll never be one of them.

We can still observe them, though--and that gives us a great excuse to hang out at the mall. Any excuse will do, right?

This is the first day of Michelle's blog hop, so feel free to join in. The rules are here. And while you're there, read the other blogs participating!