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Adventure Awaits (Not For The Faint-Hearted)

9 Jul

I used to consider myself adventurous. I always said I “would” do anything, “would” go anywhere, “would” write a novel by myself, “would” jump out of an airplane, etc., etc. Key word there: “would.”

One day I realized I “wasn’t” doing much of anything out of the ordinary. I had all these great ideas for books, but they were getting dusty in the attic of my mind. I had everything I wanted – good job, family, house – but still not completely fulfilled.

Until I released the inner artist and started taking risks.

Not the “I’m-going-to-risk-bodily-harm” type of risks, but the kind that open a person up to criticism, rejection, and the uncertainties of the world. The kind where you know nothing is ever “good enough” and the only way to ensure it gets better is to realize you’re never really finished learning about your art.

I did something recently I thought I never could – I wrote and finished a novel. At the time, I knew I needed to revise the book. No problem, I thought. Just a read-through and a few tweaks and we’re good to go.


I started adventuring out, reading agent and editor blogs, tweets, guidelines—you name it—and was almost overwhelmed at the things you’re expected to know when writing and submitting a novel. Things I thought I knew became things that were “okay yesterday but now it’s done this way.” Research became my obsession. I joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and even attended the conference here in Orlando, FL, to learn more about writing for young adults. And I was surprised to find I actually retained the information and was able to apply it to my writing. 

The funniest part was when I tried to tell my ten-year-old son about how I figured out I needed to do less narrating, more showing, and he said, “oh, you mean ‘show, don’t tell?’”

Exactly. Even he gets it.

All in all, it’s been a roller coaster of learning, honing, sharing and networking. The result? Hopefully a more polished and perfected manuscript. I can see the difference now, too, as I write my next book. I’m happy to say that at least I’ve turned “would” into “am.”

The adventure continues…

Your Life Is an Adventure

30 Jun

The 4 Chicks Chat about Julia Cameron’s Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity – Chapter 4: Discovering a Sense of Adventure

Well, it’s June, and things are really heating up here in sunny Orlando, Florida. So it is also with my dear Chicks. Each of them is feeling the growing heat of their creative desires ever more intensely. Following Julia Cameron‘s mandate for the month, Vivi, Tracey, Peggy and Eva are playing (notice I didn’t say “working”) to be more adventurous, taking the plunge, as it were, into the waters of their creative selves. Dive in with them, dear reader, and find the play and adventure in your own life this summer.

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