Being a writer is a strange role to inhabit. Sometimes you aren’t sure you are a “writer,” and sometimes you feel like a writer even when you’re not actually writing.
In some ways I’ve been a writer since school. I wrote short stories and got them critiqued by very kind English teachers outside of class. I stopped writing in college when many other things caught my attention. I became a writer again a few years after graduation when I wrote my first novel and to my shock, got a wonderful agent to represent me. I felt less like a writer when the book failed to sell and I thought that was it for my writing career as I couldn’t imagine having a second novel in me. Years later, I became inspired by two friends who wrote in between raising their children, and began to write short stories. I felt even more like a writer when I started this blog and found the incredible online community of talented bloggers and writers.
When I started on my journey of writing children’s books, I knew for certain I was going to stay a writer long-term, no matter if I got published or not. I fell in love with writing all over again. I thought of fifty-plus ideas for picture books, some with potential but many with no potential at all. I joined an incredible critique group and found many other wonderful critique partners, and became better with every revision. I stopped being intimidated enough to write a whole chapter book. I learned what ‘show’ vs. ‘tell’ means, how to pace a story, and how to study mentor texts. I joined SCBWI and attended two invaluable conferences and got to meet so many writer friends I had previously interacted with online.
Along the way I signed with my amazing agent, Mary Cummings. And yesterday I got to announce that my picture book, I HAVE A BALLOON, has been acquired by Sylvie Frank at Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman books and will be illustrated by the one and only Scott Magoon. I still can’t believe I am working with such talented people!
It’s been wonderful finding my voice again in children’s books. The only downside is that I have neglected this blog and the blogging world too much. I know I’ll find the time again to read the blogs I love to follow, but I think for the time being my writing will be focused on the children’s books. I even created an author website, http://www.arielbernsteinbooks.com/, that actually has my name in it. Can you tell I had no idea what I was doing when I named this ‘a3bernstein’??
Thank you for reading this post and any of the posts you read on my blog. Every comment meant so much to me!