I will never forget when I called me mom to tell her that I’d decided to write for kids. I was a university research assistant and about to finish a masters in history. I loved learning but I had pretty much had it with university level education. I’d taken scads of classes, written papers and even a thesis based on original research. I was ready for something new.
I expected Mom to ask me if this was the best use of my degree. I expected a question or twelve. She only had one thing to say. “It’s about time you figured it out.” You gotta love a woman who knows her kids well enough to know when they’ve landed the ideal career.
The reality is that writing children’s nonfiction is perfect for me. I’m something of a factual pack rat. I love information. Archaeology? It is THE BEST. Biology? What could possibly be more exciting! Ethnography? Fascinating! Teaching someone how to write a specific type of poem, create a painting that displays tints and shades, or how to make a reflective model of a cat’s eye? More fun that you can possibly imagine!
Is what you are currently writing your true love? If not, keep looking. I’ve heard of writers struggling for years in one genre only to try another and discover a perfect fit.
You might also want to consider the following questions:
Are you interested in a wide variety of topics?
Do you find yourself trying to figure out how something works or is assembled?
Do you get lost when you do research, following one fact to another to another until you are in the midst of something else entirely?
Do you love learning something new? Trying something new? Helping someone else explore something new?
If you answered yes to these questions, you might seriously consider children’s nonfiction. Or you could ask your mom. She may have already figured out your perfect job.