I had an amazing day yesterday. I went to the LA Times Festival of Books. My intention was to meet other Young Adult authors and be inspired by their success.
However, an hour before I headed out, I got all fidgety, antsy, and anxious. The Doubt Monster that lives inside the back of my head mocked me. Asking me what did I have to say to these authors? What did I have in common with them? And the meanest thing of all, “You know the difference between you and them? They finished. You never will.”
I wish I could kick that monster’s ass, he’s such a mind f*cker.
Instead of letting that beast have its way I picked up a journal and wrote, “I’m going to have a great experience at the LATFOB.” And I did.
I went to see the Teens in Turmoil panel and was introduced to Gayle Forman, Jandy Nelson and Cynthia Kadahata by the most endearing moderator Sonya Sones. These women were truly inspirational. I wish I could have spent some more one on one time with them because I felt like kindred spirits. Not in a stalker kind of way, but rather in a creative way.
I have characters living in my head, carrying on conversations and lives in my imagination that I am crafting into a novel. They live with their characters too and have quirky imaginations. These women were passionate about their writing and books and their love of writing was contagious and motivational.
After the panel discussion I immediately purchased If I Stay by Gayle Forman and The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. When I handed my books over for signing I told them how wonderful it was to hear their stories- both the novels and their experiences writing them. I told them that I too was working on my first novel.
Jandy and Gayle immediately encouraged me to go for it. They told me they began writing later in life, after children and after being 40 years old. Their positive energy dissolved my Doubt Monster, like water did the Wicked Witch of the West.
The Doubt Monster has often compared me to others, halting me in my writing tracks. The Monster fed me fear and doubt. Yesterday was a shot of writing adrenaline and hope that my path is not so difficult, that it’s never to late to write your dreams, and it will happen one sentence at a time.
Does anyone else out there have a dream that they want to pursue? Get to it- or I’ll send my monster your way.
To find out more about the amazing authors I mentioned please follow the links below.