Wow. A week went by at light speed. That's what summer is like. Warp speed, Mr. Worf. And then the school year seems like some kind of Groundhog Day where nothing ever moves forward.
Well, here's some more of what I learned about Life From WIFYR (Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers) 2011.
The first day I went to breakout sessions with Emily Wing Smith and Claudia Mills. Emily's was "Surviving and Thriving as a Pre-published Author" while Claudia's was "Defeating Your Demons."
Here's a few of the things I learned about life from these lovely ladies.
1. Appreciating the journey: Emily Wing Smith told us that this time (our pre-published time) is special in our careers as writers. This is a time when we are FREE TO WRITE. For me, and for so many others, not just writers, we just want to hurry up and get there! We want to get to that time in our lives that we see as perfect, and so we don't appreciate the fact that, right now, we're doing the thing that we really love to do and not worrying so much about the business of it.
We need to learn to deal with the roadblocks to appreciating what we have. Emily said these things are Jealousy, Discouragement, and Impatience. Think about these roadblocks: What is your dream, your perfect life? Where are you right now on that journey? Are these three things holding you back or getting in your way? If you said "no", would you please hurry up and develop an online course explaining how you've overcome these things, so I can take it and become just like you? :)
2. "Who do you think you are? You're not a _____________." Claudia Mills had us shout out our "demons," the things that hold us back. And then she quickly defeated those demons with her vorpal sword (snicker snack!). I loved this breakout, because every single demon the other people in the room had, I have too. One that really resonated with me was, "Who do you think you are? You're not a writer!"
I have the hardest time telling people that I'm a writer and an artist. I don't feel like a writer or an artist (although writers and artists would probably tell me that they just feel like normal people...and I am always amazed that the writers and artists I admire are NORMAL PEOPLE! Seriously, Amy can vouch for that. I always get nervous when I'm about to meet an author, and everytime I leave saying, "Wow. She's normal!").
Claudia's weapon for this demon? She said that if we write, and keep at it, then we are writers. Each of us has stories that no one else has. Isn't that true for all of us? Each of us has a song inside us that no one else can sing or a floral arrangement that no one else can create or a poem that no one else can pen. What if we chose to believe this demon? Then the world would never have what only we can give it.