Today’s quote comes to us from my mentor and friend, Kathi Appelt. I met Kathi years ago at an AustinSCBWI conference. Actually, I’m not so sure I met her as much as I fell transfixed under her spell of being able to weave her heart, her intellect and her whimsy into every book, every lecture, every interaction I ever had with her. I am delighted to be able to share the quote that sustains her through the seasons of writing.
“Here’s my ongoing favorite quote. I have it taped to the wall above my desk. I turn to it both in times of need and also in times of wonder.
Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.
“It reminds me to write like I did when I was six years old, just becoming a person who could code and decode the written word. How jubilant those days were for me, how fun they were, how in love I was with the whole process. I still enjoy the occasional jubilation moment, and when I do it’s always a result of loving what I do.
“While I’m a person who wholeheartedly believes that we arrive at jubilation thanks to hard work, I’m also a person who believes that hard work should be built on loving something so much that jubilation is the natural result. When I turn my work into drudgery, into something that requires sacrifice or despair, I’m off the mark.
“Does this mean that there is none of that in my writing? Hardly. I think those unbearable moments are also required, as much for the reminder that it doesn’t have to be that way, as for the reminder that we need all of our emotions for the page, and for me they all begin and end with love.”
Do you see what I mean? Heart, intellect and whimsy in every encounter. Her books are a testament to this quote. Read every one. You won’t be sorry.