Just the Facts

picture compliments of CartoonStock.com

This past Saturday I spent the day at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference (SCBWI) honing my writing skills and pitching my second book. (A young adult novel called “Spirit Dance”.) During the workshop portion of the day, Marietta Zacker, an agent from the Nancy Galt Literary Agency, said something that resonated with insight and wisdom. “Write what you know to be true”. (Up until this point, I’d only heard part of this phrase–write what you know.)

The pistons in my motor-mind fired. Suck, squeeze, bang, blow. Smoke leaked from my ears and the creative cogs began to turn. In order to write engaging, passionate and genuine characters, I needed to use my experiences, the ones I’ve lived, human interactions that proved to be true.

As my thoughts burned like a big-block V8, another application of the pointed words appeared.

In light of the self-assigned quest, my relentless pursuit to be a straight forward and clear communicator, I took Marietta’s enlightening quote and applied it to the daunting skill of “small talk.” Instead of just “write”, why not “speak” what you know to be true. That way, there’s no hesitation, awkward silence, or rehearsed, ‘what can i say to impress’ conversation. Just you talking about what you know best, with comfort and enthusiasm. A symphony to my ears, with everyone being exactly who they are. Exquisite, unique and fantastic. Who wouldn’t want to read/hear that?

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