February 5, 2012

I'd Like To Thank the Academy - Industry Love by Kai Strand

It is time for us to move away from first love and on to our next Share The Love subject: INDUSTRY LOVE.

Writing this post is a bit like an acceptance speech for an awards show. “I’d like to thank the academy.” However, I’ve been troubling over whom to acknowledge my appreciation of for fear I’ll offend someone by leaving him or her out. The last thing I want is for someone to think, “After all I’ve done for her and she picks the editor?”

Lame, huh?

Yet I don’t want to do a blanket thank you either, because that somehow cheapens the value of affect each person has had on my career to date. “You all mean so much to me,” might leave you thinking – am I part of that you?

Such a quandary.

So I’ve decided to focus. There is one repeated action that has successfully kept me writing and submitting. There is one constant kind of support that has lifted me when I’m down and celebrated with me when I’m up.

Encouragement.

I’ve belonged to several critique groups over the years and have received a lot of specific encouragement on my writing from fellow members. Little encouragements about the nice words I chose for a scene or big encouragements about not giving up on a manuscript have all resonated in me. I try to stay away from major whine fests here on the blog, but sometimes it is important to share all sides of the journey. When I do, I always received such heartfelt encouragement from people who truly understand the challenges this crazy, subjective industry poses.

Shortly before Guardian Angel picked up The Weaver, I was dropping into a dark abyss that I wasn’t sure I even wanted to climb out of. I posted one of those anonymous posts on Verla Kay’s Blue Boards about quitting the writing business. I received such an outpouring of encouragement. What I loved was that some people even said, “Quit. If that is what you need to do, then do it. Come back later. We’ll be here for you.” It was such sound and solid advice from people who truly understood my trial. Then I got an offer from a well known multi-published author. She said I could send my ms to her and she’d read it and give me an honest opinion on if it is publishable. Remember that I’d posted as anonymous, so she has NO clue what she’s getting herself into.

I never took her up on it, but I think it was that selfless offer that continues to inspire me to give back to the world of writing. I try to celebrate as many successes as possible with authors/illustrators. I try to offer encouragement along the journey and support the efforts of my fellow kidlitters. I try to be that ray of sunshine people can step into when a storm threatens.

There are certainly a bazillion too many people who have given me encouragement than I could possibly name personally. If you know you are one of those people, or if you know you’ve done it for someone else, pat yourself on the back for how crucial that one little thing probably was to that person. Encouragement can be what keeps us on the path or out of the dark abyss.

This week we celebrate INDUSTRY LOVE. Please come back to read the stories from my guest bloggers. You are ALWAYS welcomed to share your industry love in the comments.

Be sure to read the posts from last week’s FIRST LOVE.

2 comments:

  1. I've made some amazing friends through children's literature. So many of them have taken time out to teach me so much.

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  2. I almost went the route of all the knowledge people have generously shared, but then I realized that the only reason I'm still writing is because of the encouragement. Such a generous group in children's publishing.

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