September 4, 2008

Quit! (Or Don’t.)

I decided years ago that if anyone asked me how I connected with a terrific agent who sold my novel to a major publishing house in three weeks, I’d tell them simply, “I didn’t quit.”

Gazillion rejections. Didn’t quit.

Painful close calls. Didn’t quit.

Massive revisions. Didn’t quit.

No ideas. Bad ideas. Long days. Lonely days. Didn’t quit.

I figured out a long time ago that I’d have to do some kind of work in this world and it might as well be work about which I’m passionate. Despite the challenges, I feel incredibly blessed to be part of the warm, wonderful community of those who create literature for children.

In Miami at the FL SCBWI conference last January, I spoke about not quitting. When I finished, Sid Fleischman touched my arm and said he really liked my speech.

That moment alone made me grateful I'd never given up.

In the 2009 Children’s Writers and Illustrator’s Market, I have an article titled: “Six Reasons to Quit Writing (& One Reason You Shouldn’t).”

And last week, Writer’s Weekly published a short piece I wrote about -- you guessed it – not quitting.

So, no matter what you’re passionate about, the secret to success, I suppose, is not quitting. That and having a large trust fund. (Yeah, right!)

Hey, even Frankenstein learned not to quit as you’ll see in this clever video created by the uber-talented Adam Rex:

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