WFMAD Day 25 – and a child goes to school

On September 7, 1992, this child went to first grade.

That is the OfficeMouse.

I bring this up because today is her first day of school again, this time as an eighth grade science teacher. Congratulations Ms. Anderson!!!

The day she started school in 1992 is the day I mark as my first day of being a "real" writer. I had been a freelance journalist for a while and had been playing around with the notion of trying to write books for kids.

After I put OfficeMouse on the bus that day, I went up to my little writing nook and wrote myself a long journal entry. In it, I gave myself the goal of being published in five years.

It took me four years.

Looking back, I should have given myself ten years. That is a much more realistic time line.


Today’s advice: "Most of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn’t spend half our time wishing." Alexander Woollcott


Today’s prompt: Write down where you want your writing life to be in 2010, in 2014, and in 2026.

Be specific and bold. What kinds of books do you want to write? When will you have them ready to submit?

Don’t worry about the things you can’t control, like editors or publishing houses or marketing plans.

You have total control over the quality of your work and the amount of time and energy you put into it. Write yourself a road map from now to 2026 defining how and what you’re going to write.


9 Replies to “WFMAD Day 25 – and a child goes to school”

  1. Congrats, OfficeMouse!!

    Here’s the same advice I give my former student teachers when they start teaching: Sleep every night, eat right, wash your hands often, and remember that the work will always be there so take time for yourself.

  2. Oh, how time flies. Congratulations to OfficeMouse. 8th grade science is fun.
    But speaking of time flying, your prompt to write a road map to 2026 took my breath away. I had no idea my vision for the future was so limited. Thank you for this. I think.

  3. I love your advice today. It reminds me very much of the thought that went through my head yesterday which I filed under “Stuff I Wish I Had Known 25 Years Ago.” The thought was this: It’s much more comfortable and satisfying to be doing something than it is to be planning to do, waiting to do, wishing to do, or thinking about doing something.

    My own daughter starts Kindergarten in 15 days. I have decided not only to quit trying to write, but to quit writing and take on a new career — Speech-Language Pathology — and to work with young children. After nine years of “trying” to write, I was worn out, stuck in a rut, and depressed about my future. Enrolling in school (my coursework starts is 10 minutes!) has given me energy and optimism I had thought was gone forever. While I still catch myself occasionally thinking about writing, it doesn’t feel like the ton of bricks it did before. I’ll either write or I won’t, I’m not worried about it either way. And I am really excited about working with young kids who can benefit from my help.

    Thanks for supporting writers the way you do, Laurie. And congratulations and three “hip hip, hooray!”s to OfficeMouse on her first day of school! And congratulations to you as well. You’ve come a long way, baby. 🙂

  4. Tell Officemouse that the first two weeks are the hardest…..then she’ll naturally adjust the the rhythms of the job by the third week.

    And, not that Dampscribbler asked for any advice, but let me just say that it is possible to work a regular job AND to write. If writing gives you joy, then you have to keep at it. But now, instead of feeling like a chore, it can be a release! Don’t give up!

    Sorry, it’s easy to give unsolicited advice on someone else’s blog!

    Also, I have not missed a day this month!


  5. YAY Office Mouse!!! Laurie you told that story at my first SCBWI Conference (Eastern NY) a couple years ago and I still tell it to everyone. You became my idol that day-love you!

  6. Congratulations to Office Mouse! storyqueen is right, by the third week both she and the students will have adjusted.

    Thanks for a writing exercise I actually have the energy for after a day of meetings and errands.

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