Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Children’s book author, Barbara O’Connor, recently interviewed author/illustrator Brian Lies at her blog, "Greetings from Nowhere.” I found this quote from Brian particularly inspiring, as I’ve been hedging, once again, about whether or not to pursue my children’s writing dream.

“I think getting published is a lot like golf (which I don't play)--if you perfect your swing, the ball should go more or less where you want it to. Likewise, if you learn to tell stories in an original and compelling way, either in words or pictures, and hone your skills so that they're truly professional. . . you're going to get published. It may take a while, but you'll get published.” ~ Brian Lies, children’s book author/illustrator

I guess I just needed to hear that from someone who has been where I am now. I feel constantly pulled away from my children’s writing. I tell myself I can make a better income writing for adult markets, magazines, newspapers, websites, where I’ve experienced some success – but honestly, my heart isn’t always in it. In fairness to myself, I haven’t given my children’s writing much of a chance. I’ve submitted stories and manuscripts once, maybe twice, and then filed them away. Rationally, I know that rejections don’t necessarily equal bad writing. There are countless rejection stories from great authors, from Dr. Seuss to J.K. Rowling. Still, I have lacked the confidence to keep pursuing the children’s market. Why? Beats me.

I haven’t done a lot of writing lately, but I have been thinking about writing – a lot. Thinking in a “hurry up and make up your mind and DO something, for heaven’s sake” kind of way. There’s a lot of pressure behind the thought. I feel I’m coming into a decision-making phase, where I need to be still and listen for guidance, so I don’t miss the message. And that’s hard. Really hard. Especially with so much else distracting me right now. Four kids in varying worrisome life-stages (aren’t they all?), the holiday season just around the corner, financial worries, the never-ending laundry pile…

Still, the writing thoughts always come back to children’s writing, and that has to mean something. I think the approaching holidays are a good time to step back and give myself some room to breathe, to stop pressuring myself and just live in the moment. I have a magazine article or two in progress, which I intend to continue pursuing. But with the coming new year – barring the discovery of an altogether different plan for my life – I intend to pursue my children’s writing with fervor.

And I want to thank writers like Brian and Barbara, for being so willing to share their experiences – and for helping to resuscitate this writer’s dreams. ;o)


Barbara O'Connor said...

Heather: I'm so glad you've found some inspiration at my blog! Yes, Brian is great at motivating.

I hope you'll pursue your dream. Good luck to you!

Heather said...

Thank you -- I will! And again, thanks for sharing your writing life. ;o)