John Lennon Saw Himself Writing Children’s Books as He Aged

John Lennon had two children, Julian and Sean.John Lennon wanted to write books for children to pass on meaningful stories. When writing music, John Lennon wanted to write about himself, not a fictional character.

John Lennon | Max Scheler – K & K/Redferns

When John Lennon looked to the future, he saw himself expanding his creative horizons and beginning to author books for children. He had been a successful musician for the entirety of his adult life and never saw himself leaving that identity behind. He didn’t only see himself as a musician, however. Lennon recognized the value of the stories he read growing up and wanted to share new ones with the younger generations.

John Lennon had two children

Lennon married his first wife, Cynthia, in 1962. They’d met at school in Liverpool in 1957, long before he was famous. They began dating and decided to get married because Cynthia became pregnant. 

“I said yes, we’ll have to get married,” he said, per Slate. “I didn’t fight it.”

In 1963, Cynthia gave birth to their son, Julian. He was the couple’s only child, and they divorced in 1968 following Lennon’s affair with Yoko Ono.

In 1969, Lennon and Ono married. They remained together until his death in 1980 and shared one child, Sean, born in 1975.

John Lennon saw himself as a children’s book author

Lennon said he never wanted to slow his creativity down because he didn’t want to end up as a “normal” person.

“I have this great fear of this normal thing,” he told Rolling Stone in 1975. “You know, the ones that passed their exams, the ones that went to their jobs, the ones that didn’t become rock & rollers, the ones that settled for it, settled for it, settled for the deal! That’s what I’m trying to avoid.”

He wanted to continue to develop as an artist and even had creative plans for years in the future. 

“I never let meself believe that an artist can ‘run dry,’” he said, adding, “I’ve always had this vision of bein’ 60 and writing children’s books. I don’t know why. It’d be a strange thing for a person who doesn’t really have much to do with children.”

Granted, it was odd for Lennon, who had one child and another on the way, to say he had little to do with kids. His goal, though, was to write a story that could mean as much as the books of his childhood had.

“I’ve always had that feeling of giving what Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island gave to me at age seven and eight,” he explained. “The books that really opened my whole being.”

The musician once said he didn’t like fictionalizations in his songs

Through writing children’s books, Lennon would have had an opportunity to invent a story and characters, something he didn’t like to do in his songwriting. In his music, he preferred to write about himself. 

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“I always wrote about me when I could,” he told Rolling Stone in 1971, adding, “I didn’t really enjoy writing third person songs about people who lived in concrete flats and things like that. I like first person music. But because of my hang-ups and many other things, I would only now and then specifically write about me. Now I wrote all about me and that’s why I like it. It’s me! And nobody else.”