Welcome back to another post in the Monday Inspirations series, where guest bloggers write about the books and authors that have inspired them. Today’s post is by Allison Gammons. You can check out OTHER Monday Inspirations posts here.
Dr. Seuss has long been one of my favorite authors, an inspiration. Though I don’t generally write children’s stories I still see his influence in my writing. Seuss – Theodore Giesel – invented words; he took the English language and shaped it to fit his needs. But the words he created and the way he shaped language into his story made sense, it worked. It was a fun and playful way to make the writing do what he wanted it to do.
He is often credited with creating the word “nerd,” regardless of the veracity of this claim, it is often repeated and that is a pretty awesome thing. It’s well known that Shakespeare created many words that are now in our common language, and I feel like it speaks to the power of the writer to have coined a term that is so often used (and now deeply embedded) in our society and culture!
He was part of a movement that changed the rules, playing off the fantastical and imaginative and stepping away from the “Dick and Jane” philosophy and convention. Bold steps taken to write what felt right, not just fitting into the mold of the current publishing world. I envy that, and wonder if I could ever have the courage and determination to do such a thing.
Seuss was able to approach very serious and important topics in accessible ways. Topics that some would hesitate to talk about to young children: such as racism, environmentalism, and the philosophy of the cold war – he understood how to start on these topics in ways that were understandable to children, and that still entertained. And he wrote not just for children, even if we don’t consider the political cartoons and materials he specifically produced for adults, his children’s books are good for all ages.
How amazing would it be? To have that kind of powerful writing which appealed to a broad range of people, that could get across a message embedded in the story, while creating something new, interesting, and entirely your own?
When faced with a challenge, with something in my writing that seems “impossible” I recall a story I learned about Seuss many years ago. Green Eggs and Ham (one of my favorite stories) was written on a bet. A story – a wildly popular one – that was written using only 50 words.
Above all else, Seuss reminds me that I should be willing to tackle a challenge – you never know what amazing thing may come from that.
Also, that it is perfectly acceptable to use “Wocket” when you need to rhyme with “Pocket.”