Fall on your face

I listened to Yes Please by Amy Poehler during my drive to Montana. Recommended! Surprisingly full of good advice for creatives, and her reading cracked me up. One nugget I’ll share:

Great people do things before they are ready.

I think this is especially true in the arts. Whether it’s acting, painting, writing, or whatever – taking risks is one of the most important ways to grow at the beginning. Finding your way is going to involve falling on your face, feeling embarrassed, getting up, and keeping at it. I still remember how unready (is that a word?) I was when I handed the Land of Elyon to my local librarian. Let’s just say the meeting for coffee a week later did not go well. And touring was the same. I was so nervous the first time I stood in front of a group of kids and teachers. It’s a miracle I didn’t melt into a gloppy fear blob. But I soldiered on. I wasn’t ready to be a writer, I knew that. Thirty books later, I don’t know if I’m great, but I know that I’m pretty good. If I had waited until I was ready, I’d still be waiting.

Go forth and fall on your faces, newbies! It won’t last forever. And the sooner you get it over with the sooner you WILL be ready.

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  • Jesse Dean
    Dear Mr. Carman, I am a huge fan of your works, you introduced me into reading actually, which, if I recall correctly, i ...

  • Ayv
    Patrick, I have read th land of elyon series twice already and I intend to read it again and again until I remember it w ...

  • Jody Siahaan
    This is a note from one of my sixth grade students. I you would like to write him back you can through my email. Dear Mr ...