My inspiration for writing and doing what I love, stems from seeing my parents so happy in their own careers. Both my parents owned businesses—my dad, a family business that my great-grandfather started and my mom, a book shop, where she specialized in children’s books. Seeing them doing what they loved and being excited to head out the door to work each morning was inspiring and compelled me to stay true to following my own dreams.
Another early inspiration from my childhood—a true pivotal moment— was meeting Barbara Cooney and having her sign Miss Rumphius for me at a book signing in Damariscotta, Maine. Miss Rumphius quickly became my favorite children’s book, and Barbara Cooney remains to this day one of my favorite authors. Upon meeting her back in 1991, I knew that I wanted to grow up to be like her. I collect her books and cherish the one she signed for me. One of my favorite quotes comes from Miss Rumphius: “You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”
My best advice for aspiring writers is to just keep writing. Write every day even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. Find a peer who will support you in your writing journey or join a writer’s group. Hearing other perspectives and receiving constructive criticism is an important part of the process and will help you with revision and self-editing. Reading is just as important. The more you read, the better writer you will become!
Here are some resources that have helped me along the way:
SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators)
MWPA (Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance)
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
Story Genius by Lisa Cron
Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody