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As the year draws to a close, it’s always a good time to go back and reflect on the things that have moved and inspired us along the way. Especially in trying times, going back to the moments that brought light into our world can help us continue to be inspired and come up with new ideas that might not have occurred to us before.

Creating may have been tough for most of us this year, but we had many encouraging authors, editors, agents, and illustrators sharing with us their insights on how to keep going when the times get tough. Sometimes the reassurance that giving ourselves a break was indeed what was needed. And sometimes we just needed to let our stories come out on the page.

The following is just a sampling of the inspiring quotes from Kite Tales in 2020. Hopefully they will motivate and help you formulate new ways of creating for 2021. Each quote is linked back to the article if you want to dive deeper or revisit them.

Happy reading and happy creating!

“The most difficult part of the writing process is getting beyond the blank page. People are always talking about doing the horrible first draft. But once you’ve got something to react to then you can go from there.” — Harold Underdown

“Write if you want to, write if you need to, write if you can. But if you don’t actually type any words, that’s okay. Part of writing is experiencing, living and surviving. So, remember, if you’re doing those, you’re still writing.” — Grace Lin

“Choose your pants wisely.” — Emma Trithart

“I felt the warmth of accomplishment and support surround me. I thought to myself, ‘You tell those goddesses what this meant to you. In plain, unadulterated words. No puns, analogies, or metaphors. Just say it like it is.’” — Monica Sagaser

“I have to overcome being unsure all the time, and sometimes things come out well, and sometimes they don’t. But that’s okay. I will try again.” — Nancy Whitesides

“But the book was being released and I wasn’t going to give up on my dream of it reaching children. It was time to make a new plan…” — Claire Annette Noland

Illustration by Nancy Whitesides

“It turned out that in order to become a writer you just needed to write.” — Christian McKay Heidicker

“The difficulties facing today’s teens aren’t that different from those faced in the 60’s in Purple Daze. Issues with parents, relationships, love and loss. Young people are still breaking away from authority and convention, still forging their way into an unknown future.” — Sherry Shahan

Mary Ann Fraser, in regards to choosing topics to write about in non-fiction: “It’s like buying a pair of shoes. The first pair that catches our eye may not come in our size. We have to try on others to find the one that fits the project and our personal style.”

If you have any favorite quotes about writing, illustrating, and the creative life, please share them in the comments below!

For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.

Illustrations by Grace Lin and Nancy Whitesides.