Jeff Kinney


Learn more about the origin of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the movie, book series and original cartoon from creator Jeff Kinney.


What inspired you to write Diary of a Wimpy Kid?

Jeff: "I wanted to kind of create the ultimate childhood. When I was a kid, if I was ever in the audience at school, or at church, and some authority figure took the stage, and said, 'Here's a story from my childhood,' or 'When I was a kid,' it always got my attention.

And it made me perk up and listen because I think when you hear childhood stories, they give you a glimpse into people's humanity, in a way. I think what I wanted to do was also create a fictional world that was all funny -- no serious parts and all funny parts."


What was the most scary aspect of middle school for you?

Jeff: "Middle school in general is pretty scary scary for kids. You feel coddled and protected all through elementary school, then you enter this realm --this strange, new, more dangerous realm -- where you have lockers and different periods of classes, so it's sort of a shock to the system when kids really need to feel more protected because they are changing so much physically."


If you could go back in time with one piece of wisdom you have now, when you were in middle school, what would it be?

Jeff: "I'd say to myself, 'This won't last long and life will get a lot better.'"


How do you think keeping a diary or journal helps pre-teens and teens order their lives and find some sense of meaning?

Jeff: "I think even as an adult, when I was going through difficult times I would keep a journal, and I felt like it was cathartic. If you put it down on paper, then you are sort of done with those feelings, so you can move past them. I think for anyone going through a hard time in their life, a journal can come in handy.

I also like the idea of a journal as a record, as a glimpse into your past. I didn't keep a journal as a kid, but I did as an adult, but if I had had a journal I would have remembered things that happened to me as a kid and I would have really valued that today.

Even if you just wrote down what you had for dinner that night, I think it would be like an artifact of your life, which would be really cool."

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