Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then, she has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and published four novels: Head Case, Beyond Lucky, Believe and her latest, a young MG series about the worst fairy godmother ever, The Wish List (Scholastic, 2017). Titles forthcoming include her first nonfiction picture book, Just Like Rube Goldberg (Beach Lane Books) Sarah loves working with other writers in one of her classes at Writers on the Net ( ) or the Highlights Foundation.

As I always say: make mistakes, make mistakes, make mistakes! It’s the best way to learn something.
-Ms Frizzle

Dear Writers,

I’ve written about the power of silent walking before–how the combination of repetitive motion, fresh air, and NO DEVICE gets my juices flowing. And I know I’m not alone in this. Many of you are walkers or bike riders. Many of you have told me about the epiphanies you get while combining physical effort, repetitive motion, and silence–a moving meditation.

Recently, I read two articles that spoke to busy schedules and creativity–and I love it when one of my hunches seems true. One was by David Leonhard writing about about George Shultz and his secret to success: an hour of nothing to do! It seems that the former Sec of State likes to do what I do: get away from everything! Think! Relax! Get away from social media! And comments!

I’ll take it even further: a little bit of boredom is really great for the creative mind. Space–especially when I’m REALLY BUSY–gives me confidence and ideas.

The other was about FEAR and goals–especially when you are getting close to success. Carl Richards writes:

Our own work, when we are judging it ourselves, is never finished or good enough. I have a secret for you: It’s not because we are perfectionists. It’s because we are scared. Scared nobody will like it, scared it won’t work out, scared to be embarrassed.

This hit a nerve!
Finishing IS scary. Rejections hurt. Bad reviews burn. But they don’t burn as much as not writing. Or not finishing.

And yet, these fears still creep in at the most annoying times. Like when something is due. Or I’ve said YES to something new.

Funny enough, that George Shultz hour/walk is usually all I need. Especially now that it is beautiful outside. A short walk helps me put things in perspective. It kicks in the adrenaline. It gets the ideas flowing.

Are you ready to get some work done? Let’s take a cue from these NY Times writers.

First: Make two columns. The first one is called: The Thing I want to do

The second is: Actually Doing It!

(If you already know what is stopping you from finishing–if you already know the places you hide in–good for you! You probably already have methods for eliminating fear.) But if you don’t…if you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Then take a walk!
Give yourself some time to relax, explore, and take in some fresh air and inspiration.

When you return, journal about what you need to do to get things done and feel more excited about your writing life!  If you were marching this weekend, you know that there are a lot of young (and not so young) people waiting to read books like ours! Ms Frizzle is right! Making mistakes is nothing to fear–it’s how we get things done. This week, let’s take steps to feel accomplished and satisfied with our work! Our stories are important!

Have a great writing week!
xo s