You Can Do It Too!

It was a little luck, some skill, and a lot of hard work that got me where I am. I frequently get asked how I got a publisher, so here’s the story. I attended ICE Writers Camp (ICE stands for Imaginative Creative Explorers) for two weeks every summer from 3rd grade until high school. Every fall, ICE Camp has a reunion at the University of South Florida where all the campers and facilitators come back together. An author, illustrator, or publisher comes to speak to us. In September of 2015, my publisher, Mrs. Mitten, was our guest speaker. She’d heard about a book of poetry I self-published in elementary school and asked me to speak on a panel of authors to answer questions. I must’ve done a pretty good job, because after the event was over, she gave me her business card and expressed interest in publishing my book. For about a solid year and a half, my parents didn’t believe me that she was serious. But she was, and in May of 2017 I signed a book contract.

I happened to be at the right place at the right time, but I’d done all the right things to take me from there. I’d worked hard at my poetry, had a manuscript ready when asked for one, and continuously pushed myself to better my writing. I read everything available, have always spent long hours poring over edits, and learned the value of critique.

I think, or at least I hope, that many of you have a thing. By a thing, I mean something you love to do. Something that makes you happy, something that you want to do forever. If you don’t, that’s okay. For some, it’s art and for some, it’s music. Maybe you want to be a doctor or a scientist. Maybe you want to be a baseball player or a dancer. Whatever it is you want to do, whoever it is that you want to be, put your mind to that. Know that you can do it and you will.

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