I got a couple of great pieces of news recently. I found out that The Dirt Diary is going to be included in the Scholastic Book Club–hooray!–and I got a sneak peek of the sketches for my first picture book, Power Down, Little Robot–they’re ridiculously adorable! Of course, I took time to jump around and grin like crazy…but then I got back to work.
I think that’s the sign that I treat writing like a job now. I celebrate the good things, but I don’t let them distract me. I have deadlines to think about and new projects to develop. Back when my first book came out, every bit of news I got completely consumed me. And that was as it should be. It was all happening for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect, and I was just grateful that it was happening at all. I’m still grateful, but I’m also a little more pragmatic. After all, the next book isn’t going to write itself. (Although at this point in my revision process, I sure wish it would!)
This might all sound depressing, as if the joy of those accomplishments has somehow diminished over time, but I don’t think that’s true. In fact, those accomplishments feel even bigger now because they’re part of my overall writing life. Knowing that every writing day–good or bad–is contributing to something bigger is kind of amazing. I’m writing not just because I love it and because it’s what I want to be doing, but also because it’s my career.