Climbing toward a Dream

26 01 2015

ladder to sky I always loved this picture of a ladder reaching to the sky. When I first decided I wanted to write, I drew a symbol like this as my logo. I pictured myself climbing that ladder to success, rung by rung, each rung representing a new skill, a new publication, a new height. And slowly, I started learning and climbing.

Some of the most important steps along the way were joining SCBWI, participating in critique groups, reading craft books, and taking classes. I even added an MFA to my goals. But the most important step was doing the writing itself. I’d read somewhere that to become an expert in any skill, you needed to put in 10,000 hours and write 1,000,000 words. So I did.

And the work began to pay off. First in small writing assignments and then in books. During the early writing years, I drew another picture in addition to that logo–a stack of books. A tall stack set up in a spiral shape. I was reminded of that recently when I decided to take a picture of the books I’ve written in the past five years. That drawing looked almost exactly like this:

7_BooksInterestingly enough, some of the titles I put on those books were related to the topics of these books. I’m a big believer in using visualization to achieve goals, but I was surprised at how much the two stacks resembled each other.

I’ve seen so many writing dreams come true  in 2014. This past year has been filled with book contracts and book releases and speaking engagements. All of it fun, although sometimes exhausting. Sometimes the sign hanging behind me at this reading was definitely a reality.

8_reading  One of my long-term goals was signing at BEA, and I not only got to do that, but I got to watch friends and a CP sign too. And that was one of the highlights of the year — seeing so many friends and acquaintances making their dreams come true.

And 2015 is promising more of the same. Several CPs have signed book deals, and I know more will follow. I’m looking forward to what this year will bring. And wishing all of you a move up to the next rungs of the ladder to your dreams.





What I Love about SCBWI

13 01 2011

I’ve gained so much by being a part of SCBWI over the years. (That’s Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, for those who aren’t familiar with the acronym.) Some of my first critique partners introduced to me many of the editors I work with now. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be earning my living by writing.  I’ve also learned so much by attending conferences and critique groups. My fellow critters are among my dearest friends. They’ve not only shared writing expertise, they’ve also served as cheerleaders, psychologists, and shoulders to cry on. And who else could possibly understand the crazy compunction to put words on paper and send them out time and time again for rejections. And who can better understand the joy of those acceptances?

Since the start of the new year, my chapter has had phenomenal news. It’s thrilling to watch other writers’ careers take off. We’re less than two weeks into 2011 and already we’ve had a book make the NY Times bestseller list, one on NPR, several major award-winning books, a few authors who’ve found agents (n some cases, multiple agents), and several people who have books coming out this month. And there’s plenty more good news to come. It’s nice to know I’m hanging around with stars, and I love how their successes inspire the rest of us to keep on working.