Success – What is Your Definition?
This weekend I had the honor of attending and taking part in the Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators Western Washington’s Conference. (better known as SCBWI)
Attending is a must for anyone who has a desire to create children’s books of any kind.
Authors and Illustrators from around the Pacific North West gather to share information and listen to exceptional speakers.
Over the years I have met several amazing people. One of my favorite is an illustrator named Beth ( E. Sattler) Thieme whom I hope to work with soon on a picture book.
I have also reconnected with old friends like Emily Russin, a fellow writer, whom I used to walk the neighborhood with when we were seven years old.
This year I was asked to take part in their local success panel- how cool is that?
And although I thought I might have to break out the adult “Depends” in order to stand in front of this incredible crowd and speak, I agreed.
Pumped up on coffee, I took my place on the stage beside my fellow panel authors, Kim Baker, J. Anderson Coats, and Suzanne Kaufman. Not a shabby bunch! If you don’t know them, you need to. These girls rock, and oh my gosh are they fun to hang out with.
So I am up there on the stage, my hands shake, my voice cracks, but I do it.
And you know what?
Speaking to a crowd ( a couple of hundred people at least ) was really fun.
I gave my talk barely remembering what I said, and ended up making even more new friends.
The best part, however, was the people who came up to me afterwards.
Men and women who knew someone, were related to someone, or were themselves dyslexic, told me I had inspired them.
One of the provided questions that we were asked to prepare answers for was, “What is your idea of success?”
For me the answer is simple. It is to hold a book I wrote in my hand, something I was told would never happen because of my learning disability, and use it to inspire others.
Man did it feel good! Now I can’t wait to do it again.