Monday, January 31, 2011

Children & School Visits

Children are so Forgiving if you Goof Up

Want to know what my favorite part is about doing an author school visit?

EVERYthing!  I love every part of it.

Even my inner child loves doing school visits -- it gives her a chance to get out, stretch her legs, exercise her sense of humor, and be among people her own age for a little while.

Of course, I have to rein her in every now and then -- she takes such liberties, at times -- tsk tsk, you know how children can be ...

What surprises me is how many children's authors I've met who have no interest in doing an author school visit. They don't know the fun they're missing. For me, it's the icing on the cake. It's the best part about being a children's author.

Writing the book was the hard part; finding a publisher was right up there with hard, but more of a pain in the butt than anything else. School visits are the best part of being published.

In talking with some authors, it comes down to speaking to a group, any group. Doesn't matter how old the group is, they don't want to do it. I guess I have to respect that ... to each his own. What they don't seem to realize is, children are so honest and trusting. They hold you in awe and high regard because you "wrote a book" -- jeepers, they don't even care what kind of book! They only know that you wrote it, so they trust that you must be 'pretty special'.

Children are also very forgiving if you goof up. As long as you still own the ability to laugh at yourself, goofing up isn't a problem, it's actually a positive, and can be an ice-breaker, if the ice hasn't already been broken by the time you goof up.

School Visit, Worcester, MA
I don't know how many times over the years I've screwed up a line from one of my own poems. Solution: make a silly face, say the line the way it should be said, and say something like: "Oh man, I sure screwed that up, didn't I? I don't even know my own poem! Sorry 'bout that." And then laugh -- they'll laugh right along with you.

Bada-Bing-Bada-BOOM.  Forgiven.

So, if you're a children's author who doesn't yet do school visits, please reconsider. Send me an email if you need more information, or call me and I'll give you a pep talk. (The number is on here somewhere).

It's fun signing autographs between presentations. It's wonderful getting hugs at the end of a long day, and it feels really good to walk down the hall and have children smile, wave, or call out your name ...

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck

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