AUTHOR: A True Story by Helen Lester
Helen Lester and I met when I was working in a dental office. At the time, she was a multi-published children’s author, and I was twisting through the story maze of my first manuscript. We spoke of our love for the mysterious process of writing. When she returned, she gifted me this delightful personal story.
Author: A True Story is an honest and humorous look at one writer’s journey to publication. Helen’s charm— she is a three-year old when the story starts— will capture the hearts and imaginations of children, whether or not they have artistic dreams.
My writing was the prettiest in the class…And it was perfectly backwards…There’s a name for somebody with this problem. I was a “mirror writer.” My teacher had to hold my work up to a mirror to understand what I had written.
Reading Lester’s story at the beginning of my own journey fortified my desire and commitment to go the distance. I reread Author periodically until my first manuscript was completed, then other books on craft and creative inspiration pushed the book to a less visible place on my bookshelf.
Shortly before this New Year, I removed all the books from my office in order to revamp my writing space. Author went unnoticed until I was tucking my books into their new bookshelves, but as soon as I saw it I sat down for a read through.
My road to publication is now in its fifteenth year, and I’m twisting through my fifth manuscript. Whether I will reach the status of author like Helen Lester is uncertain; however, persistence in the face of rejection worked for her, so I’m hoping it will do the same for me.
In addition to rejection, Author touches on insecurity, writer’s block, artistic flow, and the importance of rewrites. Although it’s categorized as a children’s book, I believe the story will recharge writers off all ages and at every stage of the writing process.
Sometimes inspiration comes from the most delightful places— Author: A True Story.