A Writer’s Lonely Ride: Inspiration from a Newberry winner

Excerpt from Matt de la Pena’s Newberry Award acceptance speech:

“Before that morning, I hadn’t cried since I was thirteen years old. Sadly, that’s not an exaggeration. But in the middle of that short conversation with Ernie Cox and the rest of the committee, the streak was broken. Warm tears rolled down my cheeks. Not because I felt happy — though I definitely felt happy — but because I felt like I’d been forgiven for all my shortcomings as a writer. This job can be a lonely, lonely ride. And there are moments when it’s nearly impossible to maintain a belief in yourself. Ninety-nine percent of the time the words don’t seem quite good enough. Or the characters don’t seem quite real enough. Or, worst of all, you don’t feel quite talented enough. At the end of every single workday, I find myself muttering the same two sentences, over and over. “I should have accomplished more today. I should have been better.” But on the morning of January 11th, these people on the phone were telling me I had done something good. Something worthy.”

3 thoughts on “A Writer’s Lonely Ride: Inspiration from a Newberry winner

  1. Ellen Morris Prewitt July 5, 2016 / 9:57 am

    Thanks—I needed to be reminded that this sense of “what on earth am I doing?” is shared by many of us writers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cleemckenzie July 7, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    Oh, I hear this about the writer’s short comings. When we hear news about all the “long-comings” (why isn’t that the antonym) we have to cry. Thanks for this one, Erin.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Allison September 14, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Matt de la Pena will be speaking at a children’s literary festival in my state later this month. I’m excited about hearing him and many other notable children’s authors!

    Liked by 1 person

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