A little over a year ago I decided to tap into my rainy day account to follow anything but a rainy day dream. I quit my job, moved to the East Coast with my supportive boyfriend, set up my writing room, and pulled a 2011 draft of Tiger Drive out of a box. Thanks to feedback from a few talented peers, Tiger Drive is complete and I am now querying agents. Fingers tightly crossed.
In the meantime, I quickly learned I needed to build an author’s platform and social presence — Egads! I jumped into Dan Blank’s Get Read course where I explored my audience, goals, and identified my content for a website that didn’t exist. As you know, it does now. As a bonus to the class, I made new friends and gained a few subscribers from the start.
All of a sudden, I recognized synergy between my creative writing and my ghostwriting. On one hand, I’d finished Tiger Drive, but on the other hand I kept hearing from my seniors, “I wish I would have finished this…I wish I would have finished that…” And every time I heard someone dish this sage advice, instead of patting myself on the back and saying “You did it, Teri. You wrote Tiger Drive,” I would think about this thick padded envelope in my closet containing two children’s picture books I wrote twenty years ago. To some, children’s picture books would seem outside the scope of the Vitality Stories platform I’ve been nurturing, but for me, wanting to complete the picture books has become a part of my own lesson via Vitality Stories: No Regrets.
I contemplated traditional publishing versus self-publishing. The first seemed unlikely but doesn’t require illustrations and the second is possible but requires illustrations. What to do? I picked up drawing where I deserted it in the 7thgrade due to a combination of teenage wisdom, puberty, and family distractions. I bought a Wacom Bamboo Tablet, downloaded Sketchbook Pro, devoured You Tube videos, and slowly taught myself to draw. So…
And maybe a few adults who have a fear of doctors, too.
Also, during my studies with Dan Blank, I realized an integral piece of my writing gratification will always require giving back in some way to someone, and I am happy to share that books have been donated to the following organizations so far:
- The New Haven Reads Community Book Bank
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- Books for Kids Day – Maryland Book Bank
- The Children’s Aid Society, New York
- Better World Books – New Orleans Public Library
- Cassidy’s Place
And this list is just the beginning!
So thank you to everyone reading this post, allowing me to indulge in some creative closure, growth, and contentment, and Dan Blank, Carrie Ann Lahain, Nancy Nordenson, and Carlen Maddox for developing and planting seeds in our course together!
Now on to the next children’s picture book that has been waiting to fly, I Have Four Cracks Between My Toes!
Have a fabulous and creative day!