Thursday, January 13, 2011

The “P” Word Pays Off

Speaking of perseverance (see prior post), has anyone read Moon Over Manifest, this year’s Newbery Medal winner? I haven’t yet, but I can’t wait to crack it open.

Meanwhile, I was encouraged to read first-time author Clare Vanderpool’s personal backstory. Vanderpool’s road to getting published was a long one. She started her book many moons ago, back in 2001. As she replied on the FAQ’s page on her website:

Q. How long did it take to write and publish the book?
A. I can probably answer that easiest by saying my children were 1,3,5, and 7 when I started Moon Over Manifest and they are now 10, 12, 14, and 16. So, a pretty long time. But I wasn't sitting around writing all that time. I was also making lunches, driving to field trips, folding laundry, and saying, "Hurry up, you'll be late."

Vanderpool’s double victory—first, getting her book published; second, winning the Newbery, of all things, is a testament to the fact that perseverance pays off.

As a new year begins, and I continue to work on my own manuscript, also begun many moons ago, Vanderpool’s wonderful achievement spurs me on.

Hey, I make my kids’ lunches, too. I also have a job. And as much as I love my kids and my job (well, most of the time), they really wreak havoc on my writing life.

Still, I refuse to quit, and Vanderpool’s story gives me hope. Hope that maybe my perseverance will pay off someday, too.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I expect to win the Newbery.

But then again, neither did Vanderpool.

Now you tell me. When the road to getting published grows long, what helps you persevere?


  1. Brownies and writer pals. Not necessarily in that order.

  2. Robin, you are a true cocoaphile. Hmm. I've been craving it myself lately. By the way, Ghirardelli makes the best brownie mix. Ever. Give it a try.