For the first time in forever, I sat down and wrote something today. It’s 400 words of . . . well, I’m not sure what. Maybe a picture book. It was nice to be creating something, to write something that wasn’t comments on someone else’s work. I like editing, but some days it gets depressing to read other people’s ingenious writing and then have your cleverest thought of the day be, “does this sentence really need that adverb?” That’s what it felt like yesterday when I spent 5, yes 5, hours plugging in copyedit changes into a layout. It took so long because it was a 300 page novel that had been reformatted so that the hardcopy that had been CEed didn’t match the electronic copy I was trying to fix. I had to visually locate every sentence that needed changing. And there was one on nearly every page.

But writing today helped bring back my creative equilibrium. Still, even as I was typing away, I couldn’t help but wonder to myself, what are you writing? I have that thesis I need to finish. I’m supposed to write a second Fergus picture book. I’m trying to develop a rhyming picture book about llamas for Regan. And instead I spend 45 minutes creating this quiet little 400 word picture book thing about a girl’s search for the definition of a word and whether or not she wants to accept this word as a definition of herself. And I don’t know what to do with it now. I couldn’t even think of a title. If it were someone else, I would reccommend they take it to their critique group and then consider submitting to appropriate houses and/or agents. Perhaps someday I’ll take my own advice.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.