How to be socially adept 101

I’ve heard lots of writers say that they write middle grade novels or young adult novels because their inner voices got “stuck” at that age. They can feel, viscerally, what it was like to be 15 and think the way they did at 15.

To some extent, that rings true. I vividly remember high school. (These days, when I talk to teens, I often find myself listening to long and convoluted girlfriend/boyfriend stories — something that I attribute to my ability to remember just how much anguish is involved in a teen relationship.)

I was listening to Shelagh Rogers interview Susan Juby on CBC’s The Next Chapter, and Susan Juby said something slightly different. She said:

“I’m really fascinated by the teenage experience because I feel like in large part I missed it.”

That rings true as well. I think I spent my entire high school life conducting a secret scientific study on how to be socially successful, rather than actually relaxing and enjoying a social life.

But how do you regret something that leaves you with so much fodder for writing?

2 thoughts on “How to be socially adept 101

  1. I know where you’re coming from. I was a high school anthropologist too, although I think I felt more like a visitor from outer space… Many people share this experience, I’m sure, which is why we are all amply qualified to replicate the social experiment in the workplace. Same dynamics, different clothes (one hopes) and with a paycheque…. What do you think?

  2. NO WONDER I didn’t like working in an office! I never thought of it that way before. It IS like high school! Except, with fewer dating options…

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