There are times in life when we just get blindsided. We see the ball coming at us, but it looks like it’s going to miss, then the damn thing curves. Sometimes we can see it coming but it’s just too fast to get out of the way. Then there are times when we’re looking at the pretty butterfly and Wham! No one told us to duck. It hurts, a lot. Whether it’s physical or emotional, it hurts.
We lay on the ground trying to catch our breath and wonder what hit us. Then we crawl to our knees and start picking up the bits. We think, well I’m not working on that kid’s story now! That’s probably a good idea, or not. That pain you feel in your chest every time you draw a breath, that’s the real thing. And you know what’s missing from your writing? Some truth. Even if you’re scraping out gerble, if it comes out of that pain, there’s truth in there and you can draw from that later on.
Even kids understand pain and are not afraid to read about it. They can relate to loss. They know what it feels like. Don’t assume that you have to sugar coat it for them. There’s something to be said for the suffering artist. No one wants to be bludgeoned over the head with angst, but writing a true expression of emotion communicates directly to the reader. And it can be quite cathartic. Who needs therapy! Be a writer.