So some of you may or may not be aware that there’s a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom, that’s running just about as rampant as the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games fandoms (of the three, Harry Potter rules for me, but Hunger Games is a close second). At the same time, we also know that these fandoms are the products of franchises geared toward younger audiences, but have such a big fan base because they’ve managed to hook plenty of adult fans.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is marketed towards little girls, but not only boys enjoy it it too, but adult women and men too, breeding a new species of man-creature known as “the brony” (friendshipicus bronius). Then there’s The Lorax, which I mention because it’s a kids’ film with a worthy message that all generations can benefit from listening to, if they’re willing. And it’s so COLORFUL, which is awesome. And I have an inkling that this film has got a few fans older than kids because of the comments on YouTube calling the young Once-ler a “hottie”. Actually, you can check out the Once-ler fandom (called “Once-lings”) at this link here on “Know Your Meme”: The Once-ler Fandom
My point is that if you’re going to be a writer–even if you aren’t going to write for children–you shouldn’t lose touch with your inner child, and stay young at heart. Nor should you be ashamed to either. People can give you a lot grief for acting like a kid when you aren’t a kid anymore, but just because you act like a kid doesn’t mean you don’t have your priorities mixed up, or that you’re irresponsible: you can have your ducks in a row and still act like a kid.
And I feel like, especially in your college years, parents tend to hover over their children as if they never really left home, and when they show signs of goofing off, sometimes it doesn’t ring so well with the parental unit in question, fearing that their kid isn’t taking life seriously enough to ever succeed in this thing called life.
People, you can’t take life SO seriously. Actually this advice is for anyone, not just college students and recent grads struggling to cultivate a writing career. But for those of who wish to write, if you forget how to play, how are you supposed to be able to play with your imagination when you want to write a story? A good story, as in a story that one can tell you had some enjoyment in it and weren’t just doing it to make you look studious and smart (cough, cough, like when politicians and TV personalities write books–though don’t get me wrong I have nothing against that).
And for those of you who don’t wish to write but still have trouble developing a good sense of carefree fun even just now and then, I’m telling you, stress will eat your brain, and you’ll probably give yourself a heart attack. Unless you enjoy being serious, then by all means, proceed.
P.S. — if you do plan to write for kids, or middle grade or young adult books, this should really be a no brainer, because if you can’t think like a kid, how can you possibly write from that kind of standpoint?