There is something really special about being able to enjoy a book with your children and then connecting directly with the author thanks to the Interweb. I always get a bit giddy when an author comments back on something I’ve posted about their book on Instagram.
I’m just here still marveling at the awesomeness of the Internet.
Meanwhile Edwina Wyatt is there creating stories that make you sigh with their beauty. Her latest picture book, Fox and Bird, is on high rotation here. It is a beautifully simple and subtle tale about the need for reciprocity in friendship. Edwina’s words are paired with Alice Lindstrom’s exquisite collage illustrations.
I’m calling it early but this is one of the top ones for 2019.
It’s a pleasure and privilege to have Edwina Wyatt here as the latest Oh Creative Lady.
Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.
I am… Edwina Wyatt, a children’s author from the south coast of New South Wales.
I find inspiration… in words. I can trace most of my stories back to something as simple as an affection for a certain word. I have notebooks full of single words that I like — the lists of a madwoman. Words like: confetti, chimes and mackerel. A good word will always stir up some sort of mood, image or association. Funnily, none of the original words have ended up featuring in the finished products – they were all cut out in the revisions – but they got me writing.
I am excited about … the unopened packet of biscuits in the cupboard.
Also looking forward to sharing my latest picture book Fox & Bird illustrated by the talented Alice Lindstrom and published by Little Hare Books. And my junior fiction novel, The Secrets of Magnolia Moon out in November, illustrated by Katherine Quinn and published by Walker Books.
When I’m in a creative slump, I… read and walk. A bit of dummy spitting can help too; sometimes quitting can help you find your way back. It can free up mental space and take the pressure off.
And if all else fails, refer to Dr Seuss. He has some good things to say about how to avoid going to The Waiting Place.
“And when you’re in a Slump,
You’re not in for much fun.
is not easily done.”
Oh, The Places You’ll Go
I’m really proud of… My family.
Someone once told me… to ask myself WIBBOW: Would I Be Better Off Writing?
Such a brilliant acronym from Perth writer, H.Y. Hanna that I heard about from Annabel Smith on The First Time Podcast. It made me smile. The answer is unfailingly: yes! Always. This applies so well to social media hang-ups, procrastination, perfectionism, networking, courses, that extra blog post, time sucks like self-doubt, jealousy and negative self-talk that writers are so good at, refreshing your emails, checking Goodreads….
There is no substitute for time in the chair, mucking around and making a horrible mess of it all – it’s the only way out of it.
My advice to you is…I am not really one for giving advice, as usually when it comes to writing, I think there are no rules, and you need to follow your instincts – just do what feels right to you.
But I can tell you the advice I have been giving myself…
I have also been listening to conversations between Charlotte Wood and psychologist, Allison Manning, on A Mind Of One’s Own. From those I have really taken away the importance of focusing on the thing that I can control, which is my relationship with the work: how I feel about it, and its quality. All the other externalities which writers obsess over belong to the publishing machine. You can’t do anything about those. Also learning how to separate the worth of the work from your worth as a person, so that you’re not invested in the idea of the book’s ‘success’ or ‘failure’ as being tied up in your own self-worth. I found these conversations to be fascinating and hugely comforting.
They have been a real gift to me in creating some good mental habits.