January Baby (Holly Schindler)

I'm a January baby. We're supposed to be driven and ambitious. When I was younger, I certainly fit the bill. Classic over-achiever. 

When I started writing full-time, I approached my work in the same way I'd approached my schoolwork:

I wanted to get it right. 

I was driven to get it right. 

But now, after fifteen years in the publishing world, I can tell you this: 

There is no right or wrong. 

It's creative, after all. One person's right is another's worst book on the planet. I had to learn that the hard way, of course--I got the worst professional review of my life the same week I got my first starred review in PW...for the same book.

Now, I approach my WIPs differently. I ask, How can I learn? What can I try? What challenges do I want to give myself? Where will this take me next? What can this project lead to?

It'll never be right. There is no right. There is no final grade. 

Am I still driven? Sure. But now I'm chasing my own challenges. And that feels better than any A+ ever could.


Holly Schindler is an author of books for readers of all ages. Her debut MG The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky was a Mark Twain Award nominee.