I can relate to L.B. Schulman’s post about being afraid of becoming a “one-hit wonder”. Anyone who travels down the path to publication has a career in mind, not one-book-and-kaput.
So when I signed my second picture book contract, I was thrilled. For about 33.7 seconds. Then I became obsessed with selling the NEXT book.
And then I signed book three. Celebration? Yes, but again, the feeling was fleeting. I am now dead-set on selling book four. I’m frantically writing, revising, critiquing and coming up with unique, fresh concepts. I cannot rest with three. There must be MORE.
Why can’t I be satisfied with three? I mean, one is a huge accomplishment in itself, so I should be ecstatic with a triple-play. Instead I feel like, “meh”.
For a while I couldn’t decide if this attitude was good or bad. And then I took the positive angle: I want to make the best books I can. It’s not so much about the quantity as it is the quality. Never being satisfied is the fuel that keeps creativity burning on high. I am working harder than ever to ensure what I produce is top-notch and makes children (and parents) roar with laughter. I want one of my books to be someone’s favorite book. I want to inspire and delight. And I want to keep doing it, over and over and over again.
So maybe it’s good not to be satisfied. It forces me to strive harder, write smarter, and out-do my last story. I keep challenging myself. And that’s a good thing…just as long as I don’t grow more heads!