I’m nearing one year since I decided to become a kidlit writer so I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back and reflect on five things I’ve learned during this past year.
- Twitter is the place to be if you’re a writer.
If you’ve read my early blog posts, you know that I started writing last year after a ten-year writing hiatus. In my previous writing life, the big social media that was just starting out was MySpace and there was no such thing as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. This time around, it didn’t take long for me to realize that Twitter is like the virtual watercooler for writers. So many kind and talented people gathered in one place, willing to help each other and help the world in general.
- The Kidlit community is incredible.
In the past year there have been a number of incidents in which the Kidlit community, and writing community in general, have come together to make a difference by starting campaigns for issues like hurricane relief, the #metoo movement and rallying against the US policy on separating immigrant children from their parents. Writing is actually just a small portion of what this incredible community does.
- Help is all around.
Authors, agents and editors are typically very helpful when it comes to giving advice about writing and the publishing industry as a whole. Click here to see a number of the resources that have helped me learn and grow as a writer.
- Patience isn’t only a virtue, it’s a necessity.
The publishing industry is no place for someone who is looking for instant gratification. Many writers spend years writing and revising a single story, years querying agents with numerous rejections, and once they get an agent, it can be years before that story is sold to a publishing company and even if it is, it will then likely be at least two years before that book ever hits store shelves. So if you’re going to be a writer, you need to settle in for the long haul.
- The hardest part of writing isn’t usually the writing.
“It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”
~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
This quote resonated so much with me because this is currently my biggest challenge. I have a number of completed manuscripts, others that are a work-in-progress and plenty of ideas that have yet to be formed into a story, but with two young kids and a full-time job, finding time to write is harder than actually writing. That being said, I just keep reminding myself that yes, I am a writer, even if I’m not writing as much as I would like. As the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day….