Risky Business

I spent last weekend at the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference (NE-SCBWI) in Springfield, Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to be chosen to present two workshops, but along with shuffling my papers on the podium and hoping my Power Point would work, I was able to sit in on many other workshops as well. And as always, I came away with tons of tidbits to apply to my own writing projects.

There’s a phenomenon that often happens at conferences…even though there’s a huge variety of sessions, keynotes, and panels, an unintentional theme often develops. A certain phrase or idea tends to echo through various discussions. And for this conference, the overarching theme floating in the air was RISK. Whether it be figuring out what project to dive into next, developing characters, or even deciding to finally join Twitter, risk is an attitude that pervades every part of the writing life. This past weekend was a needed reminder for me to get out of my comfort zone and take on new challenges.

Some random scrawls in my notes include:
Challenge yourself
Be yourself
Do what scares you
Do the hard stuff
Don’t compromise

Risk invites vulnerability, and even the possibilities for failure. But I’ve always learned more from my mistakes than my successes. Risk also generates results we never could have imagined.

Risk always yields the best rewards.


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