"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."
Finally, I can say that the manuscripts are in the mail. About 15 of them, to be exact. I toiled for hours over the past two weeks writing cover letters, query letters, formatting my picture book manuscript, checking for every piece of punctuation, and hoping that I had editors' names spelled right on the address heading as I introduced myself to them via paper.
And all of that is well and good. Being published would be a hoot. From where I sit right now, I am proud of myself for accomplishing the goal I set out to do- submit my work and see where it leads. But I've realized it's not why I write. It's not what I'm hanging my hat on; to see whether I break into the publishing world or not. I've been writing and loving to write for years, and I still feel just as in love with writing as I did before I started the whole publishing venture. If I never do anything more than write for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of some Facebook and blogger friends, I will feel fulfilled. I write to get something out of me, to pour out emotion and feeling and get it all down somewhere. I write because I love to put things into story form, and to use words as a means of expression. I write for fun, relaxation and pleasure, and I always will.
My usual style of writing comes out when I take something that happened in my ordinary, every day kind of life, notice the significance of it and retell it in story form. That's where I feel most comfortable and where, I believe, my strengths lie. Since this recent submission was a children's book manuscript, I had to make it up. (Well, I got the idea from a real life happening, but tweaking it into PB format was a challenge. I'm used to writing for adults to read.) In fact, it was probably even more challenging trying to tell a story, start to finish, with the character having to discover and solve a problem all within 1000 words.
But I did, and shall continue to attempt to do so, but will also continue writing in other formats that come and feel comfortable to me. I am reading an excellent book right now, called "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg. If you love to write- get it. If you ever thought you'd like to write - get it. If you have lived a life and experienced a thing or two - get it. There's a writer in all of us.