Maybe it was the two incredible author signings I went to this week. Or maybe it was all the awesome comments you guys left on my last few posts. Or maybe it was reading a couple of books I loved so much I wanted to throw rocks at my draft. I'm not sure. But I couldn't stop thinking about this quote Shannon Hale has on her website under "Things I wish I'd known."
"The more books you read and love, and the happier you are for other authors' successes, the happier you'll be, too. Apparently, it's not a competition! All writers are on the same side--the side of books, of reading, of literacy, of art, of every reader who wants to fall into a story. And if you're really lucky, some of those writers will become your friends."
That quote embodies everything I love about Childrens', Middle Grade, and YA writers. We're all on the same side. Whether we sell 10,000 books or 10 million books, we've all done the most important thing: made a child (of any age) READ.
It's not about money. It's not about who sold their book faster, or bigger, or signed with a big agent or a small agent, or sold their book in two weeks or two months or two years. It's about making people fall in love with stories and characters and worlds. Making people feel what we put on the page. Keeping the publishing business alive.
And most importantly--it's not a competition.
I worked in Hollywood before I started writing Middle Grade. EVERYTHING was a competition. Everyone was out to beat everyone else, and honestly, that's a big part of why I walked away. I'm not a competitive person. I don't compare myself to other people, or try to measure myself by their success. So I LOVE the way almost everyone in the children's writing world seems to be the same way.
I've never found such a positive, supportive industry. I've never seen people come together so quickly and effortlessly (if you need proof, look at what Do The Write Thing For Nashville was able to accomplish). I've never seen so many people so openly celebrate everyone else's success. (again, if you need proof, follow a bunch of writers on Twitter and read their tweets on book release days).
No pushing each other down. No begrudging other people's success. It's more like a team. Team Writers. And I'm honored to be a very small part.
So what about you guys? Do you agree with Shannon Hale? Are you on the side of reading?