Guest Post by Adam Wallace
As always we thoroughly enjoy the thrill of including funny, Zombie-obsessed author-illustrator, Adam Wallace on the blog. Today he gives us chilling goosebumps – of the good variety – with his ‘inspirational’ (of the non-zombie kind) and encouraging article about what it means to be involved in such a supportive writing community. Thanks, Adam! 💀 😬 😍
Writing, or creating of any kind, can be amazing and lonely and incredible and lonely. It is so easy to keep not only the work you create to yourself, but also to keep yourself to yourself.
A few years ago, I realised that I was spending all my time writing and working on my books and basically I forgot how to talk good to people. I was also sending my work to publishers, and selling it at schools and markets, but I was never really discussing the craft or the joy of writing with other creatives.
So, I made the decision that unless I was going to become a hermit in a cave (with internet of course, duh), I needed to start finding my way out into the world again! I started going to book launches, and writerly events. I started joining Facebook writer/illustrator groups. I went to networking events. I joined a writer’s group. I caught up with amazing creative people for coffee … well, I don’t drink coffee, and in fact have never had one in my entire life. I also don’t eat chocolate. Think what you will, people (please still like me …).
What I found was that the benefits were manyfold, like a good load of clean washing.
Or a yoga master.
Benefit number one was just the buzz. Being out and amongst it, being surrounded by these amazing people, I would leave an event or a launch or a catch up and I would just be buzzing. I would come home, ready to write or draw or create or do anything. It would just get me pumped, talking about writing, and hearing what other people were doing, and I started getting excited about writing all over again.
I met people I am proud to call my friends, and find myself getting just as excited for their successes as I am for my own.
I was also lucky enough to meet some of the very top people in children’s books, and was blown away by not only how nice they were, and funny, and awesome, but also how generous they were with their thoughts and advice. These are people who are where I want to be, and they would discuss their journey unbidden, which was both overwhelming and inspiring. The support in this community is amazing.
Following on from that, I discovered that the children’s book community is one of the most generous, giving, welcoming, friendly communities in the world. Ever. In the universe even. Seriously though, it is amazing. I have never encountered any jealousy, or competition. Everyone is simply happy for everyone else to succeed, and the support and encouragement and feeling of being part of something amazing is incredible. In the end, the more amazing books that make it into children’s lives the better, and if we all have that aim, if we all work together and support each other to make the best books in the world, there’s no way we can’t win.
So get out there! Get out into the community, whether real or virtual. Meet other creative people. Be inspired. Be inspiring!
And create. The catch-ups, the meetings, the awesome people, they all feed your inner creative and, once it is fed and satisfied and ready to go, let it loose and create the most amazing work you possibly can, with your entire community holding you up and wishing the best for you.
We’re all in this together. So let’s go and change the world!
© Adam Wallace 2017
Adam Wallace photo.