My brothers would be in hysterics to think of their klutzy big sister using a sports analogy, but driving home through the rain and dark the other night, I heard an NPR piece about a college basketball player who won the game for his team with a miracle, last-second 75-foot shot. The announcers were beside themselves with such excitement that I had to check out the YouTube video to see it for myself:
The fans — and that player — will never forget that basket. It was one of those purely unexpected and magical moments in life.
Have you had those kinds of moments in your writing? I have. Of course, I will never forget “my” Newbery call. I still find it hard to believe it happened to me. But I’ve had other moments, far less dramatic and public, that have affirmed me as a writer and kept me writing. Some of those include:
- My father-in-law giving me an IBM Selectric typewriter when his firm upgraded to computers. That vote of confidence came when I was feeling most fragile in my writing.
- My first rejection letter with a personalized note — “Try us again,” — handwritten at the bottom. You can bet that I did try again! And again and again.
- Holding my first book in my hands. The smell of fresh ink, the sharp edges of unread pages– all heady stuff!
- Receiving my first fan letter (it was a letter then, not email), which came from a little girl in Michigan. Can you imagine? Someone clear across the country had read my book and liked it enough to send me a letter.
Come to think of it, my treasure chest of magic moments is overflowing.
How about yours?