No Sanctuary.

The other morning I woke up to see a text from my cousin Angela, a fellow children's book writer, with a quote from the brilliant Kate DiCamillo. The quote which I'll paste below was jarring in its accuracy. It spoke about the feeling when in the midst of writing that where you are going is....nowhere.



It can feel that way. Like maybe you are actually just vomiting on the page and it is all terrible and worthless and you should do yourself a favor and stop. But of course, if you are a writer, you can't. You just can't. It almost breaks your heart. Like you're standing there halfway up a mountain and your leg is broken, and the skies are dark, and thunder is booming somewhere in the distance and then lightning cracks the tree you're standing next to and instead of being reasonable about anything, you keep going. You just go. Up the mountain despite all the odds, despite rational thought. It doesn't make sense, but you go.

I was at a point like this the other day when Angela crept into my psyche and sent me the quote. If there is one thing I wish for aspiring authors out there, it's to have a buddy that pushes you when you really feel certain you cannot budge. Angela Burke Kunkel, lightning felled the tree, but you reminded me, rational thought is no sanctuary. 

And hey, for those of you who don't have that buddy, may you find it in blogs, or reading groups, or some other magical connection that keeps you in motion. Because motion is where it's at.




”Last week, I went looking for a quote I had taped to the front of an old journal, and what I found was notes that I made as I was writing The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  
On January 13 of 2002, I wrote:
“I don’t understand what is going on with Edward and Abilene. Should I keep going? Page 16 now and many things have happened, but it feels out of control and lost. I have no idea what’s going to happen. Should I put it aside? Or should I keep going? I think I’m going to keep going.”
Here I am, sixteen years later, asking those same questions about a different story.  
It is deeply comforting to know that I have been here before.
It is deeply comforting, too, to know that the answer is still the same.
I think I’m going to keep going.”

Kate DiCamillo