|T. Lazar, J, Hedlund, me, A. Raynor and P. Nozell|
at the NJ SCBWI conference in June 2012
Sadness that I have to wait til the next conference to see some of them.
Excitement to get back to work and revise, write, repeat!
Exhaustion from the constant amazing information shared.
And even some doubt.
Although I try to be realistic, there is always that hope that somehow I will wow an agent and editor and become the buzz at the conference. There is that hope that this conference will be "the one" when my career will REALLY start.
And then on the way home, with my folder full of notes and critiques I start to doubt that I even have what it takes to do anything more than party with writers. I want to be on those bookshelves beside them. I want to talk about promoting books and what my school visits have been like.
I start to doubt myself. My writing.
Pursuing a career as a writer is a struggle. But what does that mean, exactly?
I heard a report on NPR this morning about the differences between how the East view struggle versus how the West views struggle. I found it very interesting.
Within this report, Jim Stigler, Professor of Psychology at UCLA states,"I think that from very early ages we [in America] see struggle as an indicator that you're just not very smart," Stigler says. "It's a sign of low ability — people who are smart don't struggle, they just naturally get it, that's our folk theory. Whereas in Asian cultures they tend to see struggle more as an opportunity."
In Eastern cultures, Stigler says, it's just assumed that struggle is a predictable part of the learning process. Everyone is expected to struggle in the process of learning, and so struggling becomes a chance to show that you, the student, have what it takes emotionally to resolve the problem by persisting through that struggle.
To read the entire transcript or listen to the story, click here. It really is a fascinating report.
But back to my "morning after". My doubt.
Today I choose to embrace my struggle. To persist. To look for the joy in the sweat and the hardwork. To celebrate the process. To learn from the disappointment and doubt.
I might not be a superstar after attending my event this past weekend but I am one step closer. One day closer.