December 17, 2010

A Ram In Writer's Clothing

HINT for Beth's Birthday Hunt Clue #2

A  B  C  D . . .
Z  Y  X  W . . .

If you still don't get it, email me :)

I have the exact wrong kind of personality for being a writer.

I hate waiting.  I'm a total plow-ahead type.  I'm impatient and overly fond of instant gratification.  I'm liable to act first and think later more often than I care to admit.  And I want results now!  (Come to think of it, I sound a lot like a preschooler, which may explain why I write for that age group :))

I blame it on my zodiac sign.  I'm a ram, after all, and they are not known for their tiptoe-along-the-sidelines approach to life, but rather for barging headlong at whatever is in their path!

Anyway, take all that burning impatience and match it up with a career that requires months and months (well, let's be honest, often years!) of waiting - for the writing process itself, which takes time; for my agent to decide whether a new ms is good enough to submit; for editors to read and ponder and pass or accept; and if they do accept, for an artist to be chosen, and then draw/paint the book; and then for printing, shipping, and finally publication if I'm lucky -  and you'll see why I should really stay away from caffeine :)

But I'll tell you why I stick with being a writer, in spite of the frustration, the waiting, the lack of guarantees.

It's because I love to write and can't imagine doing anything else.

It's because every now and again, a little idea I had becomes a new book, and that book makes its way to classrooms and homes where it hopefully brightens the day a little, whether by encouraging a child to believe in himself the way Phyllis does, or help a child know she's not alone in her conflicted feeling about the arrival of a new sibling like Rose, or just learn about something new that they find interesting, like freight trains or airplanes or construction vehicles.

It's because sometimes, when I visit kids in classrooms, one shy hand will go up and its owner will give voice to the dream he or she has of becoming a writer, and the fact that he or she has had the chance to meet a writer makes that dream feel more possible.  And that writer is me.

So the next time I'm banging my head, ram-like, against the wall in frustration and proclaiming that I'm not cut out to be a writer but should go get a job at the local Stop-and-Shop, you may feel free to tell me sharply to knock it off and get back to work!

Because a writer is who I am.


  1. Great article! You are a wonderful writer and inspire not only kids but new children's book writers like myself to keep on plugging. Thanks for all you do to share your genius with the world.

  2. Thank you, Kathy. I'm so glad if I can be helpful in any way. And please, feel free to post words like "genius" as often as you like :)


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