roosevelt shirt


You know how sometimes the right advice comes at exactly the right moment? Something you’ve heard before said one more time makes everything fall into place?

This week, I was lucky to hear Cynthia Leitich Smith talk about writing and process at The Book Stall in Winetka.  She talked about her trust in the process…and she has trust like no other. (Trust me on that.) Her stories of discovery and revision made me smile and nod my head.

It made me think about what I do when my process is humming:

I listen. And use what I hear.

I play–I don’t care if it’s “wrong.” writing leads to more writing.

When I’m not sure, I step away from the manuscript to explore.

When I got home, my son was reading about his favorite president, Teddy. He reminded me of one of his famous quotes: Believe you can, and you’re half-way there.

It’s so true. When you believe you can do it, you’re not worried so much about failure. You allow yourself to explore your characters and themes and settings. You do all the things that facilitate the creative process.

One of my students heard Cynthia speak the next day and I’m so proud! She felt the same way I did. Now we’re both soaring ahead with revisions and ideas. THAT is the process at its best.



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