This holiday season give yourself the gift of acknowledging the importance of your calling. We all know how hard it is to be a writer, how frustrating it can be, how maddening. Please take a moment and give yourself credit for carrying on the noble tradition of children’s literature.
I did volunteer work for five years at the Children’s Hospital Of Los Angeles. I showed up every Wednesday morning and loaded up a cart with brand new books that were either donated or purchased through a grant. I’d wheel the cart from floor to floor, handing out books to very sick children. I gave away eighty books on average by the time I was finished.
If you do the math, over the course of five years, that turns out to be twenty thousand books. That’s also twenty thousand smiles, twenty thousand beaming faces, twenty thousand souls lifted out of depression and despair by a book, a story, exactly the kind of story you’re working on right now, a story that might take years to complete, years to get published. Please celebrate your dignity and your courage, rejoice in the certainty that you are not wasting your time climbing to the top of the crazy mountain called Publication.
Please remember that you are not alone. You are part of an expedition, part of a family of storytellers around the world, all of whom are facing challenges, many of whom refuse to give up. You matter. Your novel in progress matters. The paragraph that you just deleted matters. It all matters. It’s all beautiful.