Julie Falatko and I refer to each other as “the other Julie.” Truthfully though, she’s the original Julie and I’m “the other Julie” because we “met” on Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books podcast, and (the original) Julie was already a contributor. If you haven’t heard one of Julie’s picture book reviews on Katie’s podcast you are missing out. Each time I hear one I immediately want to go out and buy that book! It’s a gift. She should be on T.V. She’s a true picture book advocate, has a warped sense of humor (like mine), and is always on hand to give advice and encouragement. She also has the best blog name of all time – World of Julie (call me envious!). For all of these reasons, I am very excited to welcome Julie today as this week’s Tuesday 12 x 12 author.
In my 20s, I wrote and wrote, all terrible first drafts that I thought were brilliant, because isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? You get an idea, and the words flow out of you into a fully formed, excellent manuscript.
I can only pray that any of the magazines I submitted to have either folded or keep horribly unorganized records.
Then I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and it completely rocked my notion about how writing is supposed to go. It so rocked me, in fact, that I stopped writing for a few years. It was going to be work? I might have to revise for months? No thanks. I’ll wait for the magical fairies to take hold of my pencil and use me as their conduit for brilliance.
But I couldn’t stay away from writing. I kept having ideas, and I could only ignore them for so long before these characters started kind of yelling at me.
So now I write. And rewrite. And again. What I’m doing write now could probably most accurately be described as “Bird by bird by bird by bird and another bird by bird and in this next draft I think you should actually make this bird a manatee.”
I now have eight picture book drafts, thanks to 12×12. They are all awful. If an agent or editor were to hack into my computer and read them, I’d change my name and move to Canada. But they are drafts. They’re not necessarily supposed to be good. Yet.
Now I know. The first draft is the easy part. I write that, and let it sit, and then I revise when I can, for as long as I can. It takes a lot of time, and it should. Now I know: seemingly effortless writing takes lots of coffee, hair pulling, kid shushing, and nights when I lie in bed only to hear characters whispering in my ear, telling me to get up and write some more.
Julie Falatko loves to write, bake, run, and read – both to herself, and aloud to her children. She also loves to hide in the closet and eat chocolate meditatively when she’s pretending to fold laundry. Julie loves everything about children’s literature, and shares her love monthly with picture book reviews on Katie Davis’s Brain Burps About Books podcast. Julie blogs at http://worldofjulie.com, and you can follow her on Twitter at @JulieFalatko, see what random food or sweaters she’s obsessed with on Pinterest http://pinterest.com/juliefalatko/ and see what she’s reading on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/268391-julie.Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Brain Burps About Books, Friendship, Goals, Guest Blogging, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: 12 x 12 in 2012, Brain Burps About Books, Friendship, Goals, Guest Blog, Julie Falatko, Julie Hedlund, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writer, Writing