When a story doesn’t pan out…

Journalist Judith Warner thought she had a great story to tell about
the overmedication of American youth. She got a book contract, and
wrote a column for The New York Times. The problem was, her research into the issue undermined her premise.

years later she came out with an entirely different book — “We’ve Got
Issues” is not a condemnation of  pushy parents and over-medicated
kids, but a more nuanced look at the problems raising kids in America. Times medical columnist Abigail Zuger praised Warner’s honesty:

who cobble together enough anecdotes to support a preset agenda are all
too common, and presumably Ms. Warner could have managed to do just
that. Instead, she actually let her research guide her thoughts: it
whirled her perspective a full 180 degrees and, as she would be the
first to affirm, lifted the scales from her eyes.”

I — we, in
most cases — have all been in that situation. The challenge, I’ve
found, is convincing editors and publishers to consider the new story.
Warner’s publisher came through. Will the public? Will they buy a book
about “issues” as eagerly as a book about bully parents and
overmedicated kids?