First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Mom decided what she would be a long, long time ago. (I wasn’t even born yet!) She liked writing stories and poetry, but she was a teacher, so she mostly just READ other people’s stories and poetry. Sometimes, she would write a little something during summer vacation or for a graduate school assignment, but she was a teacher, so the stories didn’t go anywhere. (I hate to tell her this, but that’s because she didn’t send them anywhere.)
One day she was strolling around a craft show at the park. (If I were with her, there would have been less strolling and more playing on the swings.)
At one of the booths a man was selling wooden desk plates with jobs on them. Mom bought the TEACHER one, right away. That was a no-brainer. Then she saw the WRITER one. She picked it up and put it down a hundred times, trying to decide whether to buy it. She said no, then yes, then no, then YES! That was the first time she thought of herself as an actual writer and not just a teacher who sometimes writes.
She kept that wooden thing for all these years. It’s on top of her bulletin board, and she looks at it every single day.
When she did what she had to do, it came true. All she had to do was:
- Write every day.
- Play fetch with me.
- Read piles and piles of picture books.
- Take me for a walk.
- Find a critique group (or 3).
- Bring me to Petco.
- Join SCBWI and attend a conference (or 3).
- Buy me toys and treats.
- Study about how to be a better writer.
- Give me a bath, brush my teeth, and have my nails cut.
- Revise a lot.
- Go to work with me at the VA.
- Just plain CUT a lot of words, even if she really really liked them.
- Pick out dresses for me to wear.
- Submit stuff to agents and publishers.
- And study new tricks with me.
Nothin’ to it, right?