I am always asked how I could possibly have written 300 books (or 200 or 100 or even 50, back in the day.) My answer has not wavered in all these years.
First and foremost, I love to write. It doesn’t matter to me if the writing I am engaged with is a poem or a novel or something in-between. The word engagement here has two meanings for me. There’s the meaning that goes along with love and marriage of course, but also the meaning that deals with total face-to-face involvement with a project. I don’t dog-paddle. I throw myself in the deep end of the pool.
Second, I love to learn new things, and writing/researching for a book allows me to do all that and call it work. But it’s play, really. So if I am writing a novel like THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC, I am immersed in the history of the Holocaust. When I write a picture book
like my 300th book–ELSIE’S BIRD that starts in Boston a century ago and ends up in Nebraska where a girl and her grieving widowed father go to homestead–I get to read books and magazine articles about both Boston at that time and the movement West. And when I write my HOW DO DINOSAURS. . .books, well, I remember how it was when my children–a girl and two boys–were that age and balking at night time, or being picky eaters, or refusing to clean their rooms and all the rest. Third, I get paid to do what I love and I hear from children and adults about how my books have moved them, or made them laugh, or changed their lives. How could I NOT love what I do for the first to the 300th time!
So you will be hearing more and more and more from me over the coming years. I already have at least 30 more books in the works, and yes–I am always writing more.
Jane Yolen, janeyolen.com
Editor’s Note: My personal Jane Yolen favorites include Lost Boy, the story of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, as well as a quote from her website for writers: “Most woman writers do not have the luxury of a wife. We muddle through our chores and our writing, doing a balancing act that would put the Flying Wallendas to shame.” Substitute “blogger,” and it’s my new mantra.
Cool Pick: You can purchase any of the Jane Yolen books from our affiliate Amazon bookshelf below or directly from Amazon.