I hear myself so often say, “I only write for myself.”
And that’s true—but only partly.
Yes, I only write about the things that interest or delight me, that make me curious or angry, or in some way touch me.
But that delight, concern, curiosity must be translated for my reader.
What I chose to tell, and how I chose to tell it, always begins with the reader. I don’t write a word until I understand who it is I’m writing for.
For instance, knowing Boxes for Katje was going to be a picture book for 2nd and 3rd graders meant Mrs. Ullrich had to go. If I had been writing the story for older readers—say 5th and 6th graders—I might have left her in. She’d have made a fascinating subplot in a longer piece.