Two Zero Zero

200 posts. WOW. This is the most consistently I’ve written on any of the blogs I’ve started.

I got my copy of “The Authentic Lie” by Pandora Sykes in the mail today. As I was reading it, I enjoyed and liked what she was writing and had to say about authenticity, but more than that, I couldn’t stop thinking about whether that would be me – being the author of something that was published. Will there be a day when someone somewhere holds my words in their hands and reads what I have to say?

People ask me all the time what I’m doing with my English Graduate Diploma. Is it just out of interest? Am I considering a career change? Will I do further study afterwards?

I don’t know for sure the answers to any of these questions. I think the truth is somewhere in the space between. Am I interested in books? Ya, of course I am. But am I just studying purely for interest? Maybe. Or maybe there’s a little part of me that wants this to spark a change in how I earn my living. I’m reluctant to call it a career change because that feels so limiting. Why can’t I be an accountant and a writer? And I’ve been at university twice now, what’s to say I won’t continue studying?

What I do know, is that I want to be published one day, and have my words mean something to someone. I study English because I believe that there is power in words, that transcends time and culture and that this creates a community that is so unique and infinitely important to humanity. I’m terrified that this won’t happen for me. Am I good enough? Will I ever be “good enough”? The way that writers like Pandora Sykes articulate thoughts and ideas, the mastery of words and fluency which they speak in, feels so natural and easy. I want that.

Ten

Double digits! Woohoo! I was telling my counsellor last week about how this blog was helping me sift through and process my feelings. I’m not sure why it feels different to writing for myself, because I still do that, on a daily basis. Maybe it’s the validation from strangers reading it that makes me feel less alone in my feelings? Anyway, you – reader – are making a difference in my life and I thank you for that.

Today I’ve been thinking about the words we consume. In my Children’s Literature paper, we spend a lot of time discussing what it is that makes children’s literature, literature for children. The books that sit in the children’s section of bookshops – why have they been put there? What are the characteristics of a story that make them for children and not adults? Why do we distinguish children’s literature from literature in general?

Something that keeps cropping up is the idea that children’s literature, in general, is more didactic than adult literature – there’s usually some lesson to be learned, a moral to be discovered. And we see this all the time – children’s literature is rife with stories of good and evil, of winners and losers.

So if children are supposed to learn something from these books they’re reading, what is it saying when the majority of happy endings involve a male and a female, that the females are usually helpless and need rescuing? What are the books teaching children if the majority of the ones we read still have white male protagonists?