One of my absolute favorite writers is the lovely Cynthia Leitich Smith, NY Times best-selling author of Eternal, Diabolical, and Blessed. She also has a killer website with a Children’s & Young Adult Literature Resources section full of great information for readers, writers, librarians, and everyone in between.


When gathering information for my ABC Event last October that dealt with slumps, roadblocks, and renewing your love of writing, I posed the following questions to a few accomplished young adult writers:

Since a good way to achieve success is to study the habits of those in your field who are already successful, could you share any work habits, beliefs, or philosophies that make you excel?

Cynthia’s answer was so beautiful, I’ve been meaning to share it for some time now:

Choose yourself. Don’t worry about what you can’t control in publishing. Who’s the lead title, the trend of the moment, the critical/social-issue darling of the day… Focus on what you can impact. Hold yourself out as successful, upbeat, hardworking, and give back, too. Develop your own strategy, considering your individual strengths and resources, for serving as an effective ambassador for your books and the body of literature as a whole. Invent. Reinvent. Choose yourself. Reinvent again, and choose yourself again, too–embracing the fun along the way.

Sigh. Love, love, LOVE that. Invent. Reinvent. Choose yourself. If I weren’t absolutely terrified of needles, I’d get those words tattooed on my wrist as a constant reminder. Thank you, Cynthia, for the fabulous advice!

Happy writing, inventing, reinventing, and choosing, everyone! 🙂

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