I haven't been posting much in the past 18 months, on this blog or social media. This silence is not due to me throwing in the towel on my goal to become a children's book writer and illustrator. In fact, quite the opposite is true. I've made some big changes in my personal life in the past year that left me with a little less free time in the short-term, so I decided to focus on things that I felt were most important to moving my kidlit career forward in the little time I did have (which meant more time working and less posting on instagram). This update is a little peek behind the curtain of what I've been up to and where I'm headed.
Everyone on earth is aware that there's been a lot going on this year. In lieu of writing a poor summary of things you probably hear more than enough of on the news, I'm going to focus on how I've been using my extra hours, weeks, and months at home, not on the current events that provided me that time.
In spring of 2020, I decided the time had come for me to make a big move. My partner's job took him from Illinois (where I was) to Georgia and back on a monthly basis. We had been waiting for the right time to relocate to Georgia full-time and we felt that with my job moving fully remote for the short-term, that day had come. Over the course of a year, I sold my house, move across town, move across the country, bought a new house, and found a new day job, making me an official full-time resident of Atlanta, GA. While I was spending more time at home than ever before, all the packing, moving, realestate transactions, and job searches meant that I had less time than ever before to devote to improving my illustration portfolio.
Knowing that the small amount of time I had to spend on my work was precious, I knew I had to come up with a plan to focus my effort on things that would get me the biggest return. After talking with peers and mentors, I decided that the next best step for me as an illustrator would be to start creating book dummies of stories that I wrote myself. Time to be honest - writing has always intimidated me a bit. There are so many rules and I failed spelling all through school which discouraged me from pursuing writing outside of what I needed to do to get through college. I had some ideas for characters and stories I wanted to tell saved in my sketchbook, so, arming myself with some resources on writing for children, I buckled down, and conquered my fear of that empty page. I was able to finish two book dummies in the time I could squeeze in between boxes and interviews. I hope to be able to share them with the world soon!
Now that I'm all settled in to my new home in Atlanta, both mentally and physically, I hope to be more consistent with updates to my website and social feeds. My next big step, now that I have some stories of my own, will be to start looking for literary agents who can represent me as a writer and an illustrator. Check back soon for updates on how my search for an agent pans out.