Little Reminders

There is something immediately inspiring and terrifying about getting good advice.

I recently participated in a webinar hosted by the fabulous Book Doctors, a course offered to NaNoWriMo participants. So much of what they said made me want to stop everything and pound the keys--get back to work on editing my novel. I felt inspired.

Alas, when I actually did sit down with it, the imperfections were now magnified into elephants and the enormity of the task in front of me unfurled in a moment of terror and disillusionment.

We are strange creatures, artists. There is always this battle of striving for perfection against the feelings of self-doubt.

At one point during the webinar, David Henry Sterry said, he sometimes does something like 70 edits for a book. What?! On the one hand, it's easy to feel dwarfed by that I am on my first...

On the other, it reminds me that no matter how much of a professional, no matter how many books you've written, we all start with the same rough, gnarly, barely readable draft, that must be polished into something beautiful. It may not be easy, or fast, but there is a clear process, there are footpaths to follow through the darkness.

At a recent trip to Barnes and Noble, I browsed the journal section for a new companion:

Oh Hello, Universe, thanks for the reminder...

After I got home and opened it up, I found an extra little surprise on the inside cover.

"You are the Sunshine_____ Be Proud! You have helped us donate 240,000 workbooks and 44,000 pens to children around the world. Ecojot is paper with a cause, sustainable, B-certified and made in Canada. B the change."

Lovely! A Ralph Waldo Emerson quote has never steered me wrong.

Did a third edit of my entire first chapter this morning, and my new journal will accompany me to my SCBWI writer's conference this weekend!