How do you know that you don’t totally suck at writing? That’s the question I asked my SCBWI retreat roommate, Cecil Castellucci, three years ago. Cecil is the coolest chick ever. A total bad-ass who is honest, creative, and funny as hell. She gave me a wonderful answer...and some killer advice that I will pass onto my fellow Pre-Published out there in blog-land.
At the time Cecil was Pre-Published as well. I was wide-eyed and brand new to writing. Her sense of humor and unshakable confidence inspired me. She said, “We all suck at first. Then as the years go on and we hone our craft, we suck less and less. Pretty soon you won’t suck at all. Then it’s just a matter of time. You just wait your turn in line!”
I loved the idea that the harder I worked, the less I would suck. And...I did suck, by the way. I know this because Sue Alexander told me so, and I am forever indebted to her for preventing me from multiple-submitting my heinous cliché-laden, dreadfully preachy, “Puppy Cancer” manuscript.
Anyway, I'm happy to announce that Cecil got to the front of the line and published her first book last year. BOY PROOF is a fun read, and it nails the “outsider-teen-angsty-girl” thing in such a unique way. Her latest book, QUEEN OF COOL, has been getting rave reviews as well. It’s exciting to see someone who was once in my Pre-Published shoes finally succeeding and living the dream. It gives me great hope.
I think about Cecil Castellucci’s advice every single day. I’ve worked nonstop the last four years to learn the craft of writing for children, and am finally at a point where I don’t totally suck. So, according to Cecil, now I just wait my turn in line. Hope it’s short...not one of those long-ass, brand-new-ride-at-Disneyland lines.
Thanks, Queen of Cool! Can’t wait to join you in the front of the line.