by Kelly Carey
(Note: a version of this article appeared previously on Kelly’s blog, 24 Carrot Writing).
Give your writing self the gift of encouragement.
This summer, I took a class at The Writers’ Loft taught by Charlesbridge editor Karen Boss. At the end of class, Karen asked us to write ourselves letters. The letters were an opportunity to chat about our writing hopes, dreams, and goals. Karen collected the letters and tucked them away. Five months later my letter appeared in my mailbox, and it was the most wonderful gift.
I had totally forgotten about the letter and what little nuggets were scribbled on the page. What I found was a pep talk from the person who knows and understands my writing journey the most. In the letter, I reminded myself to believe in my writing skills, gave myself advice on how to set goals and keep at them, and included encouraging words along my road to publication.
I have read the letter half a dozen times, and each time my writing spirit feels invigorated and motivated. My very own words have given me a wonderful new soundtrack to play in my head whenever I need to banish self-doubt or that nasty negative voice that likes to make noise and derail my creative energy. My letter has become a powerful tool on my road to writing success.
I am going to encourage you to send your writing self a letter. Be positive and encouraging in your letter. Seal it up and tuck it away, or give it to a writing friend or a critique partner and ask them to mail it in five months (maybe just in time for your six-month June Year’s Eve goal assessment). Five months from now, you will be grateful for the words you put on the paper.
Kelly Carey has published children’s fiction stories in magazines including, Highlights for Children, Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and Girls’ World. Her children’s stories have received the Higher Goals Award from the Evangelical Press Association on three occasions. As a co-founder of 24 Carrot Writing, Kelly shares her passion for writing and encourages fellow writers to set manageable goals to achieve publishing success. She is an active member of SCBWI and loves taking writing workshops and connecting with fellow writers at The Writers’ Loft. When not writing, revising or submitting her picture books, Kelly can be found eating chocolate and practicing her Caldecott acceptance speech.