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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Overview Nonfiction: Timeless: Self-Development

Workshop: An Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults

“A ‘we’ approach makes the reader feel that the writer is with him, not talking at him.” Jane Fitz-Randolph

Self-development is geared towards the teen readers and older. Although they often can overlap with personality articles this focus is undergirded by empathy and a sense of  “we” are in this together. It’s not coming from an expertise telling attitude, even if as an author you have all the qualifications, but rather as someone who has walked this path and is a listening ear.

Personally I see this type of article as both compassionate and inspirational. The undergirding purpose is to understand situations and identity and then how to navigate through the difficulties and decisions. Be honest to include the potential consequences of wrong choices as well as the hope that can follow.

The range is once again very wide from dealing with emotional situations, like anger management, confrontations, like being bullied, health issues and family tensions, as well as career choices and developing skills.

As the personal essay might focus more on the external struggle towards accomplishment, self-development offers ways to heal or mend or avoid brokenness that could otherwise have life-long effects.

For example, if you related in any way to the biographical topic that represents a musician that falls into both music and multicultural categories in the earlier action list, you might want to share the different types of prejudice that a musician in this field might experience either from her peers or from audiences. Or how this has compared to your own field and the bias that can occur.

Choose a priority factor that enabled you or a colleague to navigate jealousies and /or racial discrimination.

Another vein to explore might be the ways factual information in your field can lead to artistic development.

Here is a link as to the background behind a young artist choosing to design a series of art kites.

And you can see her stunning kites at

Action Steps:

1.     Make a list of the struggles you have experienced either personally or with a close family member.

2.     Choose one that made a significant change in your life, either by an attitude perspective or by a specific course of action.

3.     Write it up as if you are sharing gone-to one with a close personal friend.

Share: What words of hope do you want to pass on from your subject field?

Read deep, marcy

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