As an editor, I tell my authors, don’t use trite phrases. Find new ways to say something. Be original.
Recently, I’ve realized, that a trite phrase is trite and overused because it says exactly the right thing. This time it describes exactly what I am feeling.
I’ve been thinking about one of the authors I’ve worked with and discovered that she is one of my Everyday Heroes. When a situation comes up, like writing my very first blog, I think, “What would Melanie do?” When I’m learning something new, I think, “Melanie did this.” I tried to find a more original way to describe her when I realized the impact she has had on me but I couldn’t.
Meet Melanie Eulberg
in April of this year Melanie Eulberg wrote and published her first children’s book just because she wanted to. It was her dream and she did it. Melanie isn’t old, but she isn’t young either. She’s a grandmother and a retired school teacher. She had to teach herself to do new things to publish this book: navigate new websites, register her publishing company with the secretary of state, read a storyboard and learn about files. She said, this is my book and this is what I want the illustrations to look like. She knew when she needed coaching from me and when she didn’t. She planned an amazing book launch party. She doesn’t like social media but she loves storytelling so is discovering a way to market her book using her skillset.
Melanie maximizes her strengths, pushes herself to try new things, asks for help when she needs it and says she’s going to do something just because she’s always dreamed about doing it.
Melanie’s picture book is about a little spider that is afraid to leave the safety of the family web. Her brothers and sisters have left but she continues watching the world go by until her curiosity is so strong that she finally asks her cousin to keep her company when she takes the leap onto a maple tree spinner and floats to the ground. She discovers she is brave enough to take the leap over and over.
It’s quite the perfect metaphor. Check it out Sylvana Takes a Spin.
Are You Ready To Take The Leap?
Thinking about Melanie got me thinking about all the authors I work with. Every one of them is taking a chance. Every one of them is brave. Showing your work to another person for their critique is to expose yourself. One author looked at me during an editing session and said in response to some of my suggestions, “That’s daunting.” He is right. The writing
process is daunting. The editing process is daunting. The creative process is daunting.
I watched him think about it. And his face changed. He got excited. I got excited. And that’s one of the joys of writing. It’s individually creative and expressive, yet collaborative. Is it really writing without a reader?
It’s lifelong. There’s no end to it. We can always write. It’s fun.
Melanie and her spider, Sylvana, remind me almost daily that it’s never too late to dream it and do it.