The Up-side of Being a Children’s Author

Everybody knows about the downside of being a writer – getting nowhere fast, pushing jelly uphill or was that molassas?

Enough rejection letters to fill a couple of folders, multi-rewrites of many stories filling up the spare spaces in your computer, an ever-increasing pile of washing tottering in the laundry, days when you leave the phone on messages and your family and ‘normal’ friends think you’re out of town – when you’re actually huddled over a hot computer.

Like Yin and Yang, there’s an upside to being a writer. I’m not referring to the successes of awards, mentorships, grants and newly published books (although they are brilliant, of course).

I’m talking about being part of the community of Australian writers for young people.

Maybe it happens in other writing genres as well – I don’t know. But ever since getting into writing (seriously)around 11 years ago, it’s been one of the special things that has happened in my life.

I have some wonderful, generous  writerly/illustrat0r-ly friends in most capital cities in Australia – if we visit each other’s cities, we get together for ‘gabfests’ and suchlikes. We commiserate, we support, we enthuse about our projects – we’re interested in the ins and outs of writing. I love all my ‘outside writing’ friends too, but eyes do glaze over if they make the mistake of asking what am I writing at the moment.

Some of my writing friends are in a writers’ Aussie yahoo group especially for children’s writers, many of us met on Facebook (yeah for FB!)

This week in Hobart, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of finally meeting up with KB, a gorgeous, intelligent, gutsy, beautiful woman, a writer I have enormous admiration and respect for – and who I look forward to continuing a friendship with.

On Bruny Island

Today, we’ve been over on Bruny Island with a long-time friend, an artist and teacher. Bruny Island is the littliest island at the end of the little island at the end of the biggest Australian island. Make sense?

Australian author of Gould’s Book of Fish, and The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Richard Flanigan has a shack on Bruny Island – along with dozens of writers and artists living in the area.

Next week, I’m having lunch with Tassie-based author, Lian Tanner – Lian wrote The Keepers, the first book in the series, The Museum of Thieves. It was one of my favourites in this year’s Children’s Book Council awards.

Now, I have to think up how I can successfully live in Brisbane and Hobart  at the same time – I reckon I could write in both ends of Australia.

Anyone in Hobart need a spot of house-sitting? 🙂

11 thoughts on “The Up-side of Being a Children’s Author

  1. Hi Sheryl,
    lovely post. I agree whole heartedly. I love all the fabulous writers that I’ve met and watched our friendships grow . We are so lucky to be part of such a supportive community :))


  2. I need to move to Australia…if I were only young… How are your immigration laws?


  3. Ooh, and Lian did lots of work at The Australian Script Centre too. Lovely blog post Sheryl, you make any get together special!


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