I've just about finished writing my first middle grade novel. It's taken almost three years and it's still not complete (close, though)! So many times during the writing of my story, I felt like a poser. I mean, I don't have a degree in English or creative writing. The writing I did as a teacher was strictly expository. Who did I think I was, writing an actual novel?
But, still, I started.
During the last three years, I made so many mistakes in my writing. I didn't add enough action. Later, I didn't use enough dialogue. Everyone agreed that I used way too many exclamation points!!* But, along the way, I learned. I wrote and rewrote for THREE YEARS! So, even though I felt like a fake, a fraud, sometimes, dare I even say it, a dillettante, I pushed through because that's the ONLY WAY to get anything done.
Artist Chuck Close said it best:
"Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around
for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to
make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the
So, go. Go, NOW and get to work at whatever lights your fire.
dillettante [ /ˌdiləˈtänt/ ]
1. a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge
*The AMAZING Kevin Jankowski, Director of the Career Center at my alma mater Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), first pointed my overuse of exclamation points. It was (and is) a hard habit to break, Kevin! I had to get a special e.p. patch to help me through my withdrawal. My name is Fran and I'm an exclamation point addict!!!
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