Yesterday at the ALA convention, I was lucky enough to hear Laura Ruby give the author's perspective on writing about sexuality for teens.
I love hearing authors present. I can learn so much from them. Laura's speech was funny, poignant, and meaningful, highlighting the point that authors write to reflect kids' lives and struggles, not to create them. Laura read a letter from a fan who had experienced something similar to Audrey, the main character in Laura's fabulous book, GOOD GIRLS.
It was such a perfect reminder that we write to reach readers, not to win awards or get fabulous reviews or hit the best seller lists (though I wouldn't mind any of those things).
So this morning, I did something a little nutty. I wrote a fake fan letter from a future reader of my current work in progress. It was a really heartfelt letter, and I'd be thrilled to get one just like it someday. I have it right next to my computer, and it's helping to keep me focused on why I'm writing this particular story.
ALA was fantastic for lots more reasons. I'll write more and post some pix soon!