Saturday, April 30, 2022

The shine will return ...

In June I'm running a creative writing workshop for young people as part of the 2022 Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival on Sunday the 12th at 1pm. You can check out this year's programme here. It's my first time being a part of this iconic Featherston event and I'm really looking forward to it. Book Festivals are a love song to literature and it's always a huge buzz to immerse yourself in all things book. I'm hoping I'll get to visit some local schools in the preceding week too - fingers crossed.

In July I'm giving a picture book writing masterclass as part of the Storylines Children's Writers and Illustrators Hui to be held in Auckland. You can check out their programme here. I love hanging out with other writers and illustrators, it's really energising, and reassuring, and grounding - an opportunity to talk as much shop as I can handle, to feel the warmth and generosity of this lovely community I am a part of. But there will also be lots of fantastic sessions to attend, publishers to pitch your work to, and new connections to be made. The Hui is open to everyone, no matter where you are in your children's literature journey - I hope you can come along.

In the meantime I continue to try and work on my own stories and provide assessments of other peoples. Bad news, rejections and the like, can really do a number on our creativity sometimes. Our writing bones can feel broken. It's okay to step back, bandage yourself up and give yourself time to heal. But it's also important to remember that manuscript acceptances and other measures we might have of success aren't the best means for keeping ourselves in good spirits as we keep the writer's path. Anything for which you cannot control the outcome might be immensely satisfying when it does turn out like you hoped, but can be crushing when it doesn't. And the satisfaction, if the news is good, isn't sustained. So, make a list of the things over which you do have control that bring you joy. They don't need to be flash or 'big' or important things. Just things that you value that will reliably put a smile on your face. And if you lose your way check out the list and make sure you are doing at least some of the things on it. Most of all be kind (to yourself) and don't panic if you are feeling a bit lacklustre. The shine will return.