I promised to tell you a little about Frieda Wishinsky -- a Toronto children's author who had dinner with us on Sunday night. Frieda is the author of over 40 books for children. Her picture book, Please, Louise! illustrated by Montrealer Marie-Louise Gay, was recently nominated for the TD Children's Literature Award, one of the country's most prestigious literary prizes.
So, during our visit, I got to ask Frieda some questions about how she does what she does. Frieda told me she writes most of her first drafts at the local Starbucks. (She orders either a latte or a chai latte, in case you're wondering about her beverage choices!)
Here's the advice Frieda has to offer beginning writers: "Be persistent. Never send anything out that's not your best." Frieda says she relies on what she calls "intelligent reader feedback." For that feedback, she often turns to her writers' group, which meets once every two or three weeks. She also sometimes shows her work to her husband, Bill: "He's tough, but he's always on. He can tell me exactly what's wrong when something isn't working. I don't always want to hear it, but I'm always glad I heard it."
As I've said before on this blog, you need to grow a tough skin to be a writer. And you certainly need to be open to the intelligent reader feedback Frieda is talking about. So, here's today's writing tip: Find yourself a reader you trust -- or a writers group like the one Frieda is in -- and listen carefully to what you're told.