Yesterday I was worried sick about my writing. I wanted to quit, call my agent and say it’s been a good run, and leave this writing life behind. I still feel like that today. I don’t believe I’m cut out for this work. I don’t have the writing chops. I could write articles on how to write. That would be easy, but writing fiction is mythic. And the ones who can do it well are truly heroes.

This is an honest post. Not everything is sun and shine in the world of a writer. In fact, as I write at this moment, I am sitting on my $10 green couch spotted with spit-up stains, and surrounded by loads of half done laundry. The most expensive thing I own is my computer. And when I try to write in the early morning my daughter hears me and starts calling my name. I go into her room, angry, because she has encroached upon my sacred writing time. But how can I yell at a little girl who wants to spend time with her dad.

Still, I want to yell at her and say, “It is 5:00 in the morning. Even the birds are asleep! Go back to bed!” But I don’t. I say “good morning.” I kiss her on her forehead, hand her a box of Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson Books, tell her to stay in her crib for two and half more hours, and go back to writing.

And as I write this even now, do you know what I am hearing. I hear the flip, flip, flip of pages, the suckling of a pacifier, and then a soft little sigh.

And I think, in this morning, in this moment of fear and hopeless trying, that one day another little child might read one of my books and sigh that same sigh. So, I suppose, I’d better get back to writing.


– Dan

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