Words of wisdom fm my coach

From: xxxxxxxx
Sent: 3/21/2005 11:52:43 PM
To: cindyann@xxxxx.com
Subject: Creativity Coach

Dear Cindy Ann,

I just received your e-mail. What a week you have had!

I am so sorry to hear about Chronicle Books not accepting Franklin. I would love to see the rejection letter. There are so many factors involved in choosing a book to be published in a publishing house. Any number of reasons can be the cause of your book not being chosen. Take heart! You are now a professional children’s picture book illustrator/writer. You have the correspondence to prove it. The fact that you sent it in for consideration shows you are serious. It is extremely rare for an author to have his/her book chosen on the first try. I know this does not take the sting away, but you have made a beginning step by submitting your work. Don’t let this stop you.

Regarding Rembrandt’s Hat: How flattering to be contacted and asked to send sketches, out of the blue. You pose so many questions, except perhaps the most important one –”Do I want to reproduce characters I drew so long ago?” I think it is clear you can reproduce likenesses – you are, after all, an artist. In fact, were you to draw those characters, you would probably draw them better, having more art and life experience now then when you first drew them. The real question is whether or not you want to draw them.

Next, having a request to produce more sketches by the end of March, when you have been sick and your mind is on your picture book, is nerve-rattling to say the least. Collect yourself and decide what you want. Do you want to create moving cards? Would you like to have your illustrations grace the cover of greeting cards? If so, here is an opportunity handed to you.

It is so hard to chase the “what ifs” from our minds. We have to, however, if we are to move. “What ifs” are faeries sent to distract us from our dreams. Shoo them away, clear your mind and focus in on one thing for now. Work. Choose whether to work on XXXX* or greeting cards or both. But point yourself north toward your studio desk, sit down, pick up your pencil and begin.

Answers to our questions often come to us or sort themselves out as we work. The act of creating our art gives us solace and hope. Create.

All the best,


*(There are many stories that have been told in picture book form and in chapter book form. If the picture book is the form you want to work with, make Perdy a picture book first. It can always be expanded later. Critique groups are great to get feedback, to see how others understand what we are trying to convey. The joy is that we can take what we want from them. Ultimately, you the author, have control of your story. You just have to make it fit a picture book format. One thing you might do is go to the library and check out recently published picture books that deal with relationship stories.)

Share your thoughts