I Am a Writer

Last weekend at the retreat, we discussed the power we receive when we label ourselves – WRITER.  Before taking the label, one pair of writing friends met every Friday to write.  Some Fridays they got a lot done.  Other Fridays?  Not so much.  They’d visit and laugh and chat.

But once they put on that label? Writing together every Friday evening.

I started writing about the same time I started grad school. By the time I graduated I knew what I wanted to do, but I fought the label.  After all, I’d spent so much time at college.  I didn’t have student loans but all that effort?  How could I follow this path?

When I finally made the decision, I called my mom.  “Mom, I know I’ve put in the effort to get both these degrees but I’m going to be a writer.




“It’s about time.”


“It’s about time that you figured out that you should write.”

Yep.  Mom figured it out before I did.

I have to admit that I’m fortunate.  My family supports me in my writing.  As soon as I said I wanted to go on last weekends retreat, everyone checked their schedules to look for a way to make it happen.  But it goes way beyond that.

When we bought this house, we told the agent we needed 3 bedrooms.  There was never any question that I would work in a spare bedroom with a desk.  Nope, this is my office.  There’s no room for a bed.  My husband built a desk that wraps around three walls.  This is my writing space.

Of course, it took more than a desk to make it mine.  I write.  I rewrite.  I rewrite again.  And I submit.

Calling yourself a writer helps a lot. But in the end you have to write.

Still, first things first.  Repeat after me, I am a writer.


ReFoReMo: Learning to Use Mentor Texts

A mentor text gives you the opportunity to pattern your own work after some aspect of a published book.  You might study a mentor text to learn about how to pace your picture book, how use page turns, or how to use wordplay.

But as is the case with so many things, it can help to see the process in action.  Good news. ReFoReMo starts on March 1.  ReFoReMo stands for Reading for Research Month and was founded by Carrie Charley Brown who runs it with Kirsti Call.

Throughout March, a variety of picture book authors, illustrators, librarians and other picture book savvy folk write blog posts showing how they use picture books to study various aspects of these texts.

My favorite part is getting to learn about new-to-me books. People also use books I know so it is a great way to learn about applying various techniques.

If this sounds like something that might be useful you can get started now:

Registration, the schedule of presenters/blog post writers, and the book list can be found here. http://www.reforemo.com/p/reading-list.html

You have to register to be eligible for PRIZES.  If you just want to learn from your fellow writers, drop in and read the posts.

For more on mentor texts, see Mentor Texts: Guiding Yourself through Writing a Picture Book. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ton of library books to request.