• Picturebooking Prof

The KidLit Roller Coaster: Keeping the FUN in the Crazy!


Since setting out on this journey, I have been amazed at how emotionally turbulent the waters of children’s publishing can be. In the world of academia, things tend to carry on at a fairly even keel. Not so in the kidlit world! Days of giddy highs can be sandwiched between days of crushing lows, leaving an aspiring author reeling.



Low: What am I doing?? High: This is the best thing ever! Low: Is this really worth it? It’s exhausting, and my husband can attest to the roller-coaster emotions that accompany these ups and downs. (I love you, honey!)


Today, as an example of the craziness, I’m sharing the highs and lows that came with the last two weeks of February (illogical but real self-talk is in italics):


  • High: Submit contest entry. Get lots of positive feedback. I’m a lock for a prize.

  • Low: Nope, didn’t place. Not even an honorable mention. I’m delusional.

  • High: Receive really great Rate-Your-Story feedback on one of my stories. This will be published in no time!

  • Low: From rejection from dream agent. Who am I kidding??

  • High: Twitter pitch party, whoop! Lots of retweets and positive comments. My stories rock!

  • Low: Twitter pitch party ends. No hearts. I’m an impostor.

  • High: Wait, there was an overnight heart—an editor liked my pitch! This is my big shot!

  • Low: Editor passed on story. I’m a terrible writer!

  • High: Another Twitter pitch party. Another heart from an editor! I have this pitching thing down!

  • Low: Rejection from a magazine. Maybe I’ll just make a Shutterfly book…

  • High: Selected as contestant for major children’s poetry tournament. Maybe I’m legit!


All of this happened within the span of two weeks! And so it will continue indefinitely, as long as I continue to put myself out there. So what am I learning?


To take things in stride.

To keep things in perspective.

To just keep writing.

And to take a break from the contest/submission roller coaster when it’s not serving its purpose—FUN!


And if worse comes to worse, I know I can always make a Shutterfly book…


Fellow roller-coaster riders, what is your favorite way to cope with the ups and downs of the writing life? I favor Netflix and a LaCroix...the bubbles tickle my nose. ;-)

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