Monday, March 31, 2008

Avi: When writing doesn't come easy

My feathered wakeful thought for the week is inspired by Avi, one of the authors who has most influenced me. The first book of his that I read was Crispin and the Cross of Lead. I was inspired by the way he crafted a historical tale of fiction and make it feel like fantasy. I hung on every word. He is a true word smith. He has written 59 books, of which I have read 12. Many have won awards.

I always imagined that writing must come easy for writers like Avi. I imagine that writers as skillful as he, were top of their class and masterful words fall off their pens like rain from the clouds in the UK.

You can imagine my surprise when I recently read that Avi has dysgraphia, a learning disability that makes writing difficult!

I do not have dysgraphia, but I do find writing difficult. My first drafts are so awful that I often wonder if I was meant to write. However, I write and rewrite and my MS's do get better. I have even improved to the point of having a few articles published. It seems I have to work just a little bit harder than the average person just to come up with something mediocre. I often wonder if I'll ever have a book published. I write, because I love to write, not necessarily for publication. Publication is a goal. A hope. A dream. An aim. I will write if I'm published or not. But lets face it. I will be disappointed if I keep working and never publish a book.

But now! Now that I've read about Avi's disability, I am so encouraged! If Avi can write pieces good enough to win a Newberry, Newbery Honors etc. then I can at the very least feel positive that if I continue to work hard, and improve my craft, then I can achieve my dream too.

My attitude should not be "if" or "When" I will be published. But, rather "how" can I continue to grow and improve to the point of publication. Obstacles are just that. Obstacles. Something to work around or over. They are not stop signs.

Thanks for the inspiration Avi! I feel pumped up for the new writing week ahead!

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