Tomorrow I’m thrilled to be attending day one of SCBWI’s Los Angeles Writer’s Days event. Saturday’s program includes keynotes from Newbery Medal winner Katherine Applegate, editor Heidi Fiedler, agent Danielle Smith, and novelist Catherine Linka. Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson will share her 15 plot-crafting tips for picture books, middle grade fiction, and young adult novels. Saturday also boasts a First Pages critique panel with a stellar lineup. Finally, I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the Writer’s Days Picture Book Fiction contest. Good luck, everyone!
During yesterday’s West Los Angeles Schmooze, Lee Wind, writer of The Official SCBWI Blog (among others) said that the act of writing is what makes you a writer, getting published makes you an author, and blogging makes you a professional writer.
By Lee’s standard, I have just become a professional writer. It’s a distinction I will actively try to deserve.
In my corporate day job, where I don’t get to write anything fun (boo!), my main responsibility is to address employee questions. I spend most of my time hunting down answers. Some are easy game while others are quite elusive. But overall, I am a diligent and tenacious hunter.
In deciding a year ago that I was ready to set a course for a career in children’s literature, I realized that I also have many questions in need of answers. Since my writing won’t feed or shelter me (yet!), I will be staying in Corporatelandia indefinitely. As anyone in my situation can attest, it’s a struggle to keep focused on and committed to the writing outside of those 40+ hours. The mental gear shift alone is a grindy, crunchy affair.
While my day job and dream job are worlds apart, working in my favor is the fact that my day job has turned me into a question-slaying, problem-solving machine. I am ready to leverage that strength and let it guide how I approach the puzzle of how to become a published writer.
I am excited at the prospect of sharing the details of this journey and the things I learn (pitfalls and all) with others. This blog is a great way to connect with those who are also trying to merge onto the writer’s path. I look forward to the discoveries this exploration will bring, to the people I’ll meet along the way, and to the chance we’ll have to grow together.