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  • Tracy Smith Schmidt

It's time to get real

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

Hello everyone!


This year, I decided to get serious about being a children's book author. Seriously serious.


I stepped up my writing routine (I mean, my writing and revising routine, of course). I joined Julie Hedlund's 12x12 Challenge and signed up for some Writing Barn classes. I am also all set to attend the SCBWI NYC Event in one week.


I just missed joining StoryStorm by a day, but nonetheless, I have amassed 67 (!) ideas for picture books. Most are not good (read: terrible), but I have learned to write any wacky idea down as it comes to me because who knows where it could lead. I mean, where did Mac Barnett come up with the idea for EXTRA YARN? Was it from jotting down "must write about sweaters"? Was it from giving a multicolored sweater to Jon Klassen? Well, actually, he has talked about the inspiration for EXTRA YARN (a drawing by Klassen). So, we definitely know the answer. But, my point is, I have learned to just jot down anything that inspires me. I hope that at least one of those 67 ideas leads to a decent manuscript.


Speaking of Mac Barnett, the first webinar of 2020 for 12x12 members was fantastic. He was so very inspirational yet so very relatable. I cannot wait for the rest of the webinars!


Joining the 12x12 Challenge has helped me to crash through the barrier of letting other people read my work. I have posted some manuscripts on the 12x12 forum and received excellent comments which will help with my revisions. I have also read so many amazing stories on the forum. Such creativity! I am very grateful that I found the supportive online 12x12 community, and I hope to meet some members in person in the coming years.


Joining 12x12 has also pushed me into social media, which I have, until now, scrupulously and intentionally avoided. But now I'm all in on a professional level.


Finally, I started working on this website. My website. I hope to be able to share good stories, and hopefully good news, in the coming years. I have so much to learn about writing. About writing for children. About publishing. But I am ready.


Not a bad record for January. I hope I can maintain momentum. I will let you know at the end of February!

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