Ten writers for children. All with something to say.



Someone once asked me in a public forum, whether I waited for inspiration. My answer was: “Every day!” But that does not, by any means, imply a passive waiting around for the divine afflatus. That is exactly what separates the professional from the dilettante. The professional composer can sit down day after day and turn out some kind of music. On some days it will inevitably be better than others but the primary fact is the ability to compose. Inspiration is often only a by-product.

Aaron Copland

What to Listen for in Music





Keep Trying to Get Better

While surfing the Internet a few years back, I came across a quote that I found challenging as well as inspirational. In an earlier post, I mentioned it in passing, but thought I would elaborate since it’s become my own personal mantra about writing.

The quote was from a conversation between an MFA writing student and his professor. The student was bemoaning the astronomical odds against selling a manuscript, as evidenced by his own lack of publication credits, to which the professor replied, “If you’re not getting published, write a better story!”

What a line! Don’t succumb to the “victim’s” mindset. Don’t blame the state of the publishing industry. Don’t blame editors or agents or your “competition.” Just keep working at your craft, submitting, and getting better.

Like I said, I took the advice as a challenge and an inspiration. As one who has published a couple short pieces but has yet to have a novel published, it’s the advice I repeat to myself every day as I walk down to the writing shack . . . and keep trying to get better.


Best Advice

An author I respect once told me to spend more time writing and less time interacting with my friends. She said that it worked for her, and it could work for me. So I tried it, and I hated it. I was lonely and the ideas stopped flowing.

Then I read an article by a total stranger that said, "Live. Go out into the world and have experiences. This is the best way to write." So I tried this, and I loved it. It allowed me to set aside my guilt when I chose to go to Taco Tuesday with my friends, instead of sitting at the computer. As a matter of fact, the idea for my latest book came from a conversation with a friend when we were out shopping.

Of course, if I hadn't sat down and focused once I returned home, there would have been no story. I guess I'm trying to say that there's a balance that's just right for each one of us, and if we will allow ourselves to find it, the creative process becomes so much more of a joy than a grind.