Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ruminating on my Saturday

I got be a part of many wonderfuls this weekend, but the most wonderous was my afternoon spent with teen writers and a former grad student in the Teen Zone at the UCF Book Festival. Seventeen teens from all over the Central Florida region varying from grades 6th-12th gave up their spring afternoon to spend indoors on their craft.  They brought their pieces for feedback and were treated to Kristen Simmons' discussion of her writerly life and a question and answer session. Time flew.

What stood out to me listening to Simmons was how long it actually took for her to go from writing a book to actually getting one published. It took her ten years.  Her continued effort reminded me of the ten thousand hour expert rule shared in Gladwell's Outliers. She wrote over four books in that time and endured 200 rejections.  What a story for these teens to hear. They got it.  They walked away understanding the tenacity and practice it took for her to accomplish her dream, of holding her published book in her hand. Many of them not sure that was what they could do, write every day and endure the rejection, but most left happy to have their writing heard and  advice to think about as aspiring writers.

I left with some unanswered questions know that writing is a solitary activity, but you must have some kind of community to share.  I wondered what that looked like for her. She also shared that now with a one year old daughter she writes during naps.  Again confirming that what you value, you will find time to do. If you want to be a writer, then write every day.  Just like the SOLSC in March pushes one too.  How do you carry on after that?

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