March 8, 2011

Why Writing Is Fun :)

Today is all about gratitude, and some of the things that make writing fun :)

Anyone who is a writer will tell you writing is hard work.  You put in long hours with no guarantee that anyone besides you will ever read the words you struggled to get just right.  Hopefully you're not in it for the money, because in children's publishing it will probably be a while before you can quit your day job.  But if you're lucky, your stories will go out into the world and you'll have some moments like these.

Today I want to share three things that have happened in the last three weeks that make all the long hours and at least some of the rejection letters worthwhile :)

1.  A librarian in California whom I have never met, wrote me this note about Can't Sleep Without Sheep and sent these pictures:

I finally got to share your beautiful book with the kids and they loved it. Thanks so much for the link to the coloring pages. I took pictures of some of the kids having fun coloring them and thought I would share them with you. Thanks so much and I can't wait to read more of your writing in the future.

Wasn't it so nice of her to take the time to write this note and send pictures?

2.  A mom who bought Can't Sleep Without Sheep took time out of her busy schedule to send me this note:

I have not in recent memory had my daughter beg for a book more and laugh harder than she did with this book. The chickens that make such a concerted effort to scale the fence and very comically fail makes her laugh so hard that her 5 year old little face turns bright red and she actually tears up. I was forced to re-read that page 4 times tonight. 

There is really nothing better than ability to make a child happy; maybe only making MY child happy :-).  Thank you

Knowing they liked it makes me happy!

3.  I visited a school last week and yesterday received a packet of letters - one of my absolute favorite things about school visits.  It doesn't happen that often, but when it does, it's priceless, and I cherish the notes and pictures that young readers took time to send.  Here are a few of the letters about April Fool, Phyllis!:
He's referring to Phyllis's song :)
...and here's his picture of me with my Phyllis puppet singing :)
Awesome handwriting, no? and I would love to do another book about Phyllis!
Someone who appreciates effort :)
A budding artist (with great taste in books :))
This is one of my favorites!  Short and sweet!  I think this is me, sitting in the chair, reading :)
Me, too!
So sweet!

So there you have it - the little things that make my days!  For me, knowing that even one child enjoyed one of my stories is what it's all about.  (And you may all feel free to remind me of this the next time I'm fretting about rejection letters :))  Thanks for letting me share :)


  1. Those are adorable! That's it in a nutshell--that's why children's writers do it. That's the ultimate reward. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Oh my gosh, so cute!! That is awesome!

  3. So sweet! I teared up myself reading this post and it's not even my book. Bravo!

  4. Hi Susanna,
    I loved reading about the adorable letters you've received from children.
    Their precious way of writing and drawing really shows how much they love your picture books. Thanks for sharing :-)

  5. It's a great book, Susanna, and a favorite in our house. I couldn't tell you how many times I've read it to Brian and Jason since Santa brought them the book. Brian starts giggling every time I read "Send in the chickens!" before I even get a chance to turn the page.

  6. Megan, Julie ,and Renee - so glad you enjoyed the letters!
    Bob - thank you for telling me how much Brian and Jason like Can't Sleep! It means so much to me!

  7. Oh, how amazing. Those are so sweet! I am glad that you took the time to share those with us. Very special indeed. Just makes it that more rewarding and reminds you why you do what you do. Thank you.

  8. That's awesome, loved those pictures! :D


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