I have a soft spot for the "newbie." I still remember the tummy flutters, the flushed cheeks, the anxiety of being in a new situation -- not quite sure of the unwritten "rules." Do kids buy or bring lunch to this school? Am I wearing the "right" kind of sneakers to gym class? For some, this is an exciting time; a time of adventure. For others it’s a nerve-wracking, teeth chattering experience.
Guess what, kiddos? You don't have to be a "kid" to be the newbie. Some adults (kids too, but I was never one of those) seem to slip into new situations seamlessly, taking it all in stride. But some become flustered in unfamiliar territory. I find it helpful to be prepared before diving into something new, but there isn’t always an instruction manual available. I’m a huge proponent of asking questions, but sometimes it’s difficult to even know what questions to ask.
Are you a new writer or illustrator who wants to know some of the “unwritten rules” before you submit to publishers or attend your first conference? Or would you like to hear about some mistakes some writers/illustrators made (some funny ones, too!) when they first started out? My friend, Virginia Law Manning, and I wrote a blog post for the Eastern PA Chapter of SCBWI called “The Unwritten Rules: Rookie Mistakes and What We Learned” that you can view here.
I welcome you to comment here or on the EPA SCBWI blog if you’d like to share a rookie mistake you made or ask a question. We were all new once!
Heather is a busy wife and mom of five rambunctious children and one lovable pup They all provide lots of distractions, but oodles of inspiration. Sometimes the pictures and ideas in her head turn into her own children's stories, but she always makes time to read other people's books. Sometimes she reviews them here.