Is it that both groups are leggy, prone to pink and spectacularly ridiculous-looking? Speaking as a short-legged pink-hater who can only dream of looking spectacularly anything, I’d say no. Is it that people tend to look at us strangely when they meet us at parties? Perhaps, though I can’t remember the last time I encountered a flamingo at a rave. Or, indeed, the last time I went to one myself.
No, I think the thing we have in common is that we are both groups which are better as groups than in isolation. We need each other.
Take flamingos. Flamingos won’t breed unless their numbers are greater than some magic flamingo minimum. Sneaky zoo keepers have got around this by putting big mirrors by their pools so that the birds think there are at least twice as many of their colleagues long-legging it about the place than there really are. And – hey presto – bouncing baby flamingos ensue.
Writers are the same. We don’t thrive in a vacuum. We write better when we are part of a collective of creativity. The more really good children’s books there are, the more there will be. Birds and book-writers alike, we need a community in order to be really pink and glowing.