One of the things I really want to do in my writing is take risks. I want to be knowledgeable about the marketplace and the "accepted" topics and approaches in kids’ writing, and I want to have a career as a children’s writer, but I also want to risk foolishness and non-publication by continuing to write things I think kids will devour, even if chances of the works published and getting past the gatekeepers is small.
I also like risk and change and learning new things in my non-writing life. My latest adventure has me really intimidated, though. With my husband, who marched in the drum and bugle corps Suncoast Sound in the 80s, and our 18-year-old daughter, I’m trying to join the color guard of Minnesota Brass, an all-ages corps here in the Twin Cities. The color guard is the group of people who dance and spin and toss flags, rifles, and sabres.
Don’t let the all-ages label fool you. At the meeting (which actually turned out to be the first rehearsal, too, though they didn’t tell us that ahead of time), I was a good 20 years older than almost everyone else in the color guard group (except one or two of the teachers). And I was one of only three people who hadn’t been in a color guard or drill team or whatever. Amost everyone was in their early twenties and had just "aged out" of the top level corps, which have a max age of 22, I think.
One of the instructors mentioned that she had spun with Minnesota Brass until she "got too old."
She was younger than me.
The same instructor said to the group at the end of the night, in an encouraging voice, "Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right away. It takes a while to learn, and, well, it seems to be easier in general to pick it up the younger you are." She spoke to the group, but you KNOW who she was looking at when she said it!
So, keep your fingers crossed! I’m hoping some of the risk-taking there will translate into new adventure in my writing, too.