Heather Smith
My friend, Nan, will appreciate this post because what I'm about to rant about happens to her all the time.

Whenever I tell people that I write for children and young adults, quite often the response is "Oh, I'd like to do that, if only I had the time."

I think the next time I meet a surgeon I'll say "Wow, what a great job. I'd like to give that a bash, if only I wasn't so darn busy."

Okay, perhaps I'm stretching the argument. But for someone to flippantly suggest that "time" is the only thing keeping them from being the next JK Rowling is, frankly, bloody annoying. And not only is it bloody annoying, it's insulting. If it's all as easy as they suggest, what does that say about my writing and the fact that it's yet to be published?

So, for all those people out there who have yet to put pen to paper, but have written their Giller Award acceptance speech, realize this: writing for children and young adults ain't easy. Believe it or not, it actually requires talent beyond Dick and Jane.

Becoming a successful writer means more than sitting at Starbucks scribing a masterpiece over a Skinny Vanilla Latte. There are cover letters to be written ... plot synopses to devise ... author's bios to embellish! Becoming a successful writer is hard work - and if the rapidly depleting printer toner doesn't kill you, the rapidly growing stack of rejection letters will.

As a mother of three children, aged 11, 9, and 3, the whole "if only I had time" thing doesn't fly. If you really want to do something, you find the time.

And now I must leave you. There are only so many hours in a day, and that Master of Surgery thesis isn't going to write itself.
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6 Responses
  1. CLB Says:

    I can't believe people say that kind of thing. That's just rude. You will get published one day, that will be the best revenge of all.


  2. Lisa TS Says:

    I agree. I think half of the children's books out there are crap compared with your work. I don't know how they get published.


  3. Aunt Nancis Says:

    "Becoming a successful writer means more than sitting at Starbucks scribing a masterpiece over a Skinny Vanilla Latte." Really??? I was convinced that's all it took!!! My dreams are shot.


  4. Iron Monkey Says:

    Don't you mean:
    "There are cover letters to be written ... plot synopses to devise ... author's bios to embellish ... spouses to bug with endless proofreading tasks!"

    Aside from the tasks related to trying to get published, you are missing the most important part: "having the bloody skills it takes to write a good book". Published or not, you've got the chops...


  5. CLB Says:

    Look at Iron Monkey being all supportive. Who knew?


  6. Anonymous Says:

    Amen, sister! Thank you for presenting my plight (and for mentioning my name. I feel honoured!)
    Your fabulous writing and your determination to "find the time to write" are an inspiration to us all.
    Now, I think I'll have that skinny latte....


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