How did this workshop help you grow as a writer? I think that being in person, writing one-on-one with no other distractions was very helpful to me. I am a working mom and is hard to find uninterrupted blocks of time where I can work on my career as a children’s writer that isn't only at 4:00 AM. Over the weekend, I grew in every area: my editing skills, formatting, my comfort level of being silly when reading out loud, the creativity in my writing, and trusting my own imagination. I have a clear picture of my next realistic steps to grow.
What did you find most valuable? Hard to answer this one! I think having Rosie's uninterrupted attention on growing me as a writer! She and I had so many hours working on my craft, talking me through every step of the way. Rosie has 16+ years of experience in this industry and she is very successful. She shared her journey, the ups, the downs, the successes, the downfalls. Honestly, the most valuable thing about the weekend was our uninterrupted hours and hours we spent talking, critiquing, Q&A sessions… working on me. I am so thankful and fortunate.
Would you recommend it to other writers? 100% without a doubt, YES!
What would you say to someone who is considering working with me as their writing coach? Whoever can get Rosie's undivided attention to coach them for a full weekend should consider themselves unbelievably lucky and JUMP at the opportunity. You would not regret it at all. I learned so much and it was an incredibly fulfilling weekend for me. I enjoyed every minute of our time this past weekend together.
Overall thoughts: My choice to work with Rosie Pova was the BEST decision ever. I researched a lot of classes. I looked at so many options online and ultimately decided to work with Rosie at the Writers Workshop of Dallas. Her class gave me the tools, the foundation, the skills, and outlined exactly what I needed to do to succeed. I completed the Children's Picture Book course (LOVED IT) alongside a 3 month individual mentorship (so hard but LOVED IT). She invested her time in me, most importantly, she believed in me. It took time for me to prove to her and show her my dedication and passion for writing. But she stuck with me, she worked with me, and she really took me from not having a clue what to do… to being very close to being published. And not only with one story… but with six stories. I think that alone speaks volumes to Rosie and the value I got out of working with her! At the end of our initial 3 month mentorship, I knew I wanted a body of work ready to query so when she offered to continue working with me, I signed on for another 2 months and accepted her invitation to spend the weekend writing in Dallas for an intense on-one-one writing workshop. I have those six manuscripts ready to rock and I am forever grateful to her for her time, wisdom, knowledge, and encouragement on this journey. It’s been a wild ride… and I’m just getting started!
Oh gosh... so much! I have a lot of editing to do from our critique sessions. I have a lot of "unpacking" to do mentally. I am going to make sure my notes are organized and probably type up an outline of my major takeaways from the weekend. I need to create new accounts for my social channels (instagram and facebook) and work on my brand. I really do have a lot to do but I will take it step by step. I think the hardest thing for me is to realize that this whole process just takes time. Querying six manuscripts simultaneously is no joke but this dream is definitely becoming a reality for me. Stay tuned...
Chasing a dream isn't always easy. I'm nervous. I'm excited. I'm ready. I'm ready to learn. To write, edit, re-write. I'm ready to work hard. I'm ready to get all the negative and the positive feedback. Tomorrow, I'm headed to Texas to work with Rosie Pova for the weekend. OMG! It's very exciting. She is investing her time in me, she believes in me, now I just need to focus, and get on that plane! Did I mention I'm nervous!? If you had told me in December that in June I'd be flying to work with a famous children's author, I wouldn't have believed you! But, it's happening and here I go! This weekend is a really big step in the right direction for me!
In a normal year, Sam and I would be spending a significant part of our summer in the British Virgin Islands. Like most people, Covid changed a lot for us. I'll spare you the nitty gritty, but neither one of us are going to the islands this summer which is super strange for our entire family.
When heading back to the islands, I would look forward to waking up with the sun shining and falling asleep to the sound of water hitting the side of the boat. I am always so excited to "unplug" from our fast-paced culture and move to the simple life at sea. It's a chance to step back to enjoy your natural surroundings without the constant social buzz surrounding you. It’s a chance to connect with students and staff from all over the world and get to know each person for who they are. It's a chance to experience the magic of living alongside the marine life and connect with nature. It’s a very fulfilling experience that is hard to describe. We have absolutely loved spending every summer in this way since 2008 and will miss our time in the islands this year. These experiences have shaped us into who we are as people and as parents, today.
Living in remote places for a lot of our life has changed our perspective on raising our kids. So much so, that we are a no-screen family. We disconnect whenever we can. *Our kids ARE allowed to watch pre-downloaded movies or shows but only when we travel. We DO have the occasional fun movie night as a family or let them watch a show on very rare occasions.* Are we doing our kids disservice? I personally don't really think so. One thing I do know is that we are doing our best as parents and that our kids are happy.
Anyway, we try to bring the remote life to shore, simply because we love it. And this is the exact topic of the next children's book I wrote. I wrote it from an "unplugged" child's perspective, inspired by the life of my own children. I can't wait to start querying this particular story next week!
Thanks for following along! Your support means the world to me.
Blair has travelled extensively all over the world. She and her husband enjoy taking their kids on big adventures together. Blair writes children's picture books for all ages! Most of her stories are inspired by life events. They feature kid’s curiosity, love of the environment, laughter, and fantasy.