A lesson learned this weekend…never give up on yourself.
There are those moments in life when one begins to doubt oneself. As a writer, this happens more often than not. As a children's writer, you put yourself before others and wait for "judgment." This makes maintaining confidence in your work or ability as a writer hard.
That critique of your work from a partner telling you "they don't understand or like" what you have written. That book you are so confident about and keep hearing "No thank you," from queries to agents and publishers. That moment when you think, "Why am I doing this to myself?"
What makes a writer continue? It can't be about the money. That is the element that is not there, especially at the beginning. Like a teacher, who I am, being a writer is about the profession, the creativity, the passion.
This quote sums up why I write:
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.
I write because I love the process of writing. I love the creativity. I love sharing the stories I create. All of these can also take a "hit" each time I hear a "no" or "not really feeling this story." I begin to question what I am doing and why.
Then comes that one moment when you think, this is why. There is that moment when you "see" that others see in your story what you wanted to convey. Twas the Night Before Christmas…A First for Gus was a story that went through multiple edits and critiques until it became the story it is now.
The fact that others enjoy this little story about Gus, a shelter dog, brings me joy. To add a "cherry on top" is to receive recognition from teachers, librarians, authors, and publishers who judged the book for the 2022 Florida Authors and Publishers Association annual President's Book Awards. I was first shocked to learn the book was a medal finalist but to hear my name and book called the winner of the Gold in the Children's Picture Book category was amazing.
I am thankful for their recognition but also to my editor, Clarissa Willis, and my fantastic illustrator, Dylan Hale. I am once again reminded to…
NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.