I watched it recently, and as a 31-year-old, I resonated with it so much. I feel like very few kids movies deal with bullying in such a raw and honest way. And I felt for Harriet the way I feel for Jane: going back and forth between feeling like my heart was breaking for her, and like my own heart was breaking.
In writing Jane, I relive the pain of bullying in such an authentic way. Because, honestly, I can return to those feelings in the blink of an eye. They still live in me. We all carry wounds from childhood. But a lot of people disengage with what it really felt like to be a child. They grow up, have their own children, and forget what it was like to be young.
When I started writing Magic Inc., I wanted to tell a raw and vulnerable story about how I truly felt as a child. I knew it would be hard, but I also sensed it would be one of the most fulfilling stories I could ever write. It's been more scary than fulfilling the last few years. I've feared the judgement of those who might not understand Jane’s story. In wanting to please an audience, I'd forgotten how to write for myself. To write for those rare souls who can relate to such an odd and vulnerable little story about a girl who never felt her age.
In Harriet the Spy, her nanny says: "You know what? You're an individual, and that makes people nervous. And it's gonna keep making people nervous for the rest of your life." And I'm realizing that is true. Other kids didn't understand me. So, of course, there are going to be people who don't get Magic Inc.
But that's okay. Writers and other creatives thrive on the unique and different. At least, I do. I've never fit in. Not even here. But I'm going to keep being my vulnerable, authentic self, in hopes that someone out there needs to read my story.
And I hope you'll have the courage to do the same. 💕