Life Shrinks or Expands in Proportion to One's Courage
Why is there a quote about courage under a title about the 2013 SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles, you ask? Because I always need courage to sign up for a large conference. Here's why:
1. Money: my writing account will take a hit with this conference (you have a writing budget, right? you're tracking inflows and outflows, right?) and I'll need courage to write the necessary checks.
2. Time: although my spouse is supportive of my writing life, the reality is our home life is more challenging when I'm away. His job is stressful and time-consuming and having three teenaged daughters off school takes some careful monitoring. I'll need courage to request and enlist the support of the entire family.
3. Me as a Writer: sitting among 1199 other children's writers can be daunting because I am face to face with my competition. They aren't a fuzzy grey unknown blob out there anymore. Granted they are really nice faces, but it does make a person -- at least me -- realize I need to be at the top of my game to be successful. I'll need courage to keep growing and learning and taking educated chances in spite of competition I can actually see.
4. Participation: sometimes large crowds make me feel small. I'll need courage to reach out, make friends, ask strangers to have a cup of coffee. At the conference last year, I needed courage to participate in a flash mob! But borrowing from Oprah, one thing I know for sure is that my life expands with courage.
How about you?
Ryan Hipp (SCBWI member and author-illustrator from the great state of Michigan), is nearing completion of his Kickstarter intiative for the picture book he wrote and illustrated called Little Steps. When I heard Ryan was using Kickstarter.com to fund the publication of this book, I wasn't too surprised because Ryan is a creative, big-thinking, self-starter. But I was interested to learn more about the backstory of Little Steps through Tara Lazar's interview with him. Check it out: http://taralazar.com/2013/04/04/kickstart-your-project-like-ryan-hipp-hint-take-little-steps/ and support Little Steps if you can.
Carrie Pearson is a children's book author and creator-cheerleader.